Filner: Fiscal cliff deal will come by year's end - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Filner: Fiscal cliff deal will come by year's end

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(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Mayor Bob Filner, a former 10-term congressman, said Wednesday he thinks an agreement will be reached before the federal government reaches the so-called "fiscal cliff" early next year.

"Congress is dumb but it's not stupid," Filner said at a news conference on city finances.

Under a sequestration agreement reached last year to end a standoff over raising the nation's debt ceiling, automatic spending cuts and tax increases will take effect if Congress and President Barack Obama are unable to agree by the end of this year on a plan to reduce the U.S. deficit.

"Sequestration will not happen in my opinion," Filner said.

He acknowledged that it might take to the end of New Year's Eve to reach a deal.

His predecessor, Jerry Sanders, and other local political leaders have railed against sequestration for the impact it could have on defense spending, which is the lifeblood of San Diego's economy.

The city of San Diego's chief operating officer, Jay Goldstone, said he agrees with Filner's assessment. He said he believes that even if the country does go over the fiscal cliff, it will most likely only be for a month or two.

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