Fiscal Cliff - What it Means for You
With the latest vote in the house and senate, and a new fiscal "deal" in place, what does that mean for you?
The new legislation avoids major tax increases and government spending cuts -- for now.
Folks we spoke with today say they are most concerned with what will happen in the very near future, namely spending cuts and possible service reductions.
In about two months congress will have to deal with the billions of dollars scheduled in spending cuts, something that's only been halted for a short time... and that's got people nervous in this region.
Even with the latest fiscal cliff deal, the across-the-board spending cuts are eventually going to hit home. And for people like Greg Gales, who is a union rep for Iron Workers of Local 14, that's simply un-nerving.
"The working people are tired of them playing games with our livelihood. We want them to move forward because it's costing a lot of future work," says Gales.
Work Source, funded by the Department of Labor, which helps unemployed people find jobs or get new training may face some of those cuts.
Executive Director Cos Edwards says there's not much one can do at the local level, except deal to with it.
"On March 27th the spending resolution expires. Either they have to push it further down the road or find a solution. Ten percent cuts across the board is a huge problem," says Edwards.
For low-income residents, like Rachel Cassell, it's those potential cuts to other federal assistance programs that are keeping her awake at night.
"People that are on welfare or SSI, they're cutting that down... a lot. So it makes it harder for people to get any help," says Cassell.
Edwards a crossroads is looming, something for which we must prepare.
"We're looking at really, really major substantial cuts if they're unable to resolve this issue," says Edwards.
The first showdown will come over the next three months, when the government's legal ability to borrow money expires, and temporary financing for federal agency budgets will end.
Republicans have already said, as they did in 2011, that they will demand spending cuts as a condition for extending the debt ceiling.