Gov. Dannel P. Malloy expressed doubt Thursday in the ability of Congress to pass legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff before the end of the year.
Congress and President Barack Obama have so far been unable to negotiate an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, a self-imposed combination of $7 trillion dollars in tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for the beginning of the year.
Asked at an unrelated press conference whether he thought they would get it done before the end of the year, Malloy said “the answer is no.”
The governor said the economy already is experiencing “downward pressure” as a result of uncertainty over the fiscal cliff. Consumer spending expectations have been downgraded as a result, he said.
“This is bad stuff. It’s crazy,” Malloy said.
Last week, House Speaker John Boehner canceled a planned vote on a Republican alternative to the president’s proposal when it became apparent there was not enough Republican support to pass it. Malloy was critical of Boehner for wasting time on a bill he couldn’t pass.
“That the speaker spent time trying to run a bill that he couldn’t even get through his caucus, doesn’t speak well of his leadership,” Malloy said.
The governor said both Boehner and Obama were “mature individuals” and that they and others needed to sit down and get a deal done. He warned that it would be detrimental to the country if they did not.
“I’ve said you don’t want to be standing near a fan when this happens. The fan is warming up,” he said.
Earlier this month, the White House put out an informational brochure about what’s at stake for Connecticut residents if Congress fails to act.
If Congress fails to act, 96 percent of Connecticut families who make less than $250,000 a year will see their taxes go up. A typical Connecticut family of four earning $86,000 could see its income taxes rise by $2,200, according to the document.
The White House says 1.4 million middle-class Connecticut families will see their federal income taxes increase.
Connecticut families will receive a smaller Child Tax Credit, and 324,000 low- and moderate-income working families with children in Connecticut will lose access to the Child Tax Credit altogether, costing them an average of $1,000 a year.
Also 120,000 middle-class Connecticut families will no longer get help paying for college from the American Opportunity Tax Credit and small businesses will be able to claim immediate tax deductions for only $25,000, rather than $250,000, of new investment.