U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Zionsville, said the stalemate between Congress and President Barack Obama to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" won't put the county in a state of catastrophe, but he's still not optimistic a deal will be reached any time soon that will prevent automatic tax increases and deep cuts to national defense and Medicare.
Toomey made his remarks Friday after a brief announcement in the city about legislation he sponsored to help clothe veterans.
He said there are dozens of factors involved in the "fiscal cliff," and how they are dealt with by lawmakers will determine what happens to the average citizen.
Toomey said there is no easy answer.
"Unfortunately, it depends on what happens," he said.
The senator said the president's plan to raise taxes on upper-income wage earners won't solve the problem. Toomey said the essence of the problem boils down to lack of spending control.
"I frankly don't think the president is interested in cutting spending at all," he said. "That being said, I don't think any of us want to see taxes go up on average Americans. I would prefer no tax increases on anyone."
Instead, Toomey said, cutting taxes would be a better solution.
Toomey also said that a vote to approve a federal judge at the city's U.S. Middle District Court may come before year's end.
He said that the nomination of Matthew Brann, a Bradford County attorney, to fill the vacant federal judge's seat here is important to the economy of Williamsport. Toomey also said that it's important for those in the legal system to "find justice right here" instead of traveling hundreds of miles to other federal courthouses.