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National Leaders Discuss Fiscal Cliff


November 16, 2012


By: Steve

On November 15, I attended the Washington Ideas Forum hosted by The Atlantic, which included a “who’s who” of congressional, Administration and media presenters. Although the event was broad in scope, it contained some interesting commentary about the fiscal cliff and other federal issues which have the potential to impact CTE.

During an opening breakout session, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and others on the panel reiterated that something must be done to avoid the across-the-board “sequestration” cuts. Rep. Van Hollen favors a mix of revenue and tax cuts, a position also supported by others throughout the day. While few expect a complete solution to the sequestration issue during the lame duck session, a number of solutions were offered as ideas. Panelist Maya MacGuineas with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget suggested the hard line positions Democrats and Republicans are taking on issues will need to be softened in order for progress to occur. For instance, she suggested President Obama may need to phase out tax cuts over time as opposed to all in one fell swoop and Republicans will need to give on the revenue side.

Later in the day Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) dubbed the fiscal cliff set up in law as a “bipartisan dumb” move, meaning it was unwise to set such high stakes in a bill, while he framed the current status on moving forward as the president's decision. Sen. Rubio, who is already being referenced as a possible 2016 presidential candidate, made some interesting comments regarding skills, noting that many individuals do not have the skills needed to meet business and industry needs today and that the nation needs to identify a way to address the issue. He referenced the global economy and noted the relationship between good immigration law and some jobs in agriculture and construction which will continue to depend on workers from beyond our borders.

ACTE is working with Washington policymakers and coalitions to avoid the fiscal cliff and cuts to CTE, while underscoring the value to CTE support related to the workforce and economy. View many of the conversations and debate on the Atlantic’s Washington Ideas Forum website.

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