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Lugar Says Deal Must Be Struck To Avoid Fiscal Cliff

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., speaks to reporters Monday in South Bend, Ind. Lugar, a 36-year veteran of the Senate, is engulfed in a primary battle with Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a Tea Party favorite.

Senator Richard Lugar says he is meeting daily with members of Congress to review plans and strategies to avoid the impending fiscal cliff that will impose severe government cuts.

Lugar says there are some in Washington who, for partisan reasons, find it acceptable to send the country over the fiscal cliff, giving them further political ammunition but the 36-year Senate veteran says he is among those who believe a deal must be struck.

“I think the shock to our economy of that, quite apart from reflections in the stock markets and what have you, would be disastrous in terms of the growth of jobs,” Lugar says.

Lugar says he believes the country could quickly see as much as a three percent drop in the gross national product if a deal is not reached. Governor Mitch Daniels says at the state level the fiscal cliff, while something to be avoided, is not the biggest issue.

“All these things are completely dwarfed by the damage that’s being done by a stagnant national economy and Indiana’s doing relatively better. We’re adding jobs at roughly twice the national rate, but it’s not enough,” Daniels says.

Daniels calls the fiscal cliff a speed bump in addressing the larger problem of the country’s debt.

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