Lawmakers Look To Economic Wonks On Cliff

Even highly trained economists have vastly differing opinions on how to handle the cliff.

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After the hearing, Casey acknowledged the White House's proposal, by both economists' estimation, requires more spending cuts with respect to revenues, but he said the coming weeks will bring more ideas from both sides.

"I think you're going to see a lot of different proposals back and forth," said Casey. Ultimately, though, he said he is confident lawmakers have enough in common that they can come to agreement by the end of the year.

"I think both sides understand the gravity of the problem," he said.

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  • Danielle Kurtzleben is a business and economics reporter for U.S. News & World Report. Connect with her on Twitter @titonka or via E-mail at dkurtzleben@usnews.com.