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RI Congressional Members Hopeful On 'fiscal Cliff'

"The term creates the image that on Jan. 1, we step off this thing like Wile E. Coyote going off one of those cartoon cliffs and fall hundreds of miles to a poof on the desert floor," he said. "The fiscal cliff is not as dire or as immediate as a lot of the press have led people to believe."

Rep. David Cicilline echoed that sentiment. He said if Congress can't agree on a comprehensive plan, they should at least pass a middle-class tax cut, then work out the rest of the deal later.

"I think it's important for people to understand that if it happens that a deal is not concluded until the first week of January, second week of January, it doesn't put us into recession instantly," he said, adding, "This is a fragile recovery. The last thing we need ... is a tax increase."

Rep. Jim Langevin said it was encouraging that Boehner and Obama met on Sunday and said it appeared negotiations were moving along quickly. He said his biggest concern was for the thousands of large and small employers who depend on the defense industry in Rhode Island.

"I believe we are going to get something substantive on this," Langevin said. "I believe that at the very least we will have a blueprint of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff before the end of the year. In terms of dotting the i's and crossing the t's it may not happen until January or February, but I think it'll be clear that the details of this plan have been worked out."

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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