Local leaders weigh in on 'fiscal cliff' deadline

Financial planner offers advice if deal isn't reached

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Northeast Florida elected officials said Sunday they were optimistic a deal would be reached to prevent the nation from going over the ‘fiscal cliff,' but the timing of a resolution was unpredictable.

Each leader with whom WJXT spoke said they wanted a resolution, which would require lawmakers to settle their differences.

"For the first time, I see people that's not really interested in making the government work," said Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown. "You know they are just locked in their bubble and don't believe you have to give and take. That's what government is all about."

"I'm an eternal optimist. It is easy to solve. All you have to do is have a willingness,  a bipartisan way, and a non-ideological way to come to an agreement," said Sen. Bill Nelson.

Republican Rep. Ander Crenshaw released a statement in which he said his main priority is keeping the U.S. safe:

"I remain dedicated to keeping taxes low and our defense strong. Any serious plan must address cuts to big government spending, reform entitlements, and provide comprehensive and pro-growth tax reform, which broadens the base, lowers rates, raises revenues and reduces the deficit."

Rep. Brown said she thinks lawmakers will not meet the deadline. She said she doesn't think any agreement will be made until the new leaders are sworn into the Senate and Congress later this week.

Meanwhile, local financial experts said it's better to be safe than sorry if a deal isn't reached. Financial planner Vera Hodge said people can take steps to prepare.

"Your mortgage payment that would be due the first week of January, if you can, pay that by Dec. 31st. And most banks will give you a date, a time, that they will accept that as a December payment, which gives you an extra month of interest on your mortgage interest," said Hodge.

Copyright 2012 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.