Beebe, governors urge Obama to avert 'fiscal cliff'

Posted: December 4, 2012 at 11:25 a.m.

— U.S. governors urged President Barack Obama to quickly reach a compromise with Congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff so they can plan for potential cuts when state legislatures meet next month.

“Something’s got to get done,” said Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware, a Democrat, at a news conference Tuesday after meeting with Obama at the White House. They met to make sure “the voices and the issues that we face as governors in the states are heard and considered,” he said.

The Obama administration and lawmakers are discussing ways to avert the fiscal cliff, a combination of more than $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January.

Federal budget cuts “will have a huge impact upon our individual state budgets,” said Mary Fallin, the Republican governor of Oklahoma, at the news conference.

Obama invited members of the executive committee of the National Governors Association to the White House for talks on the budget negotiations, the effect on states and potential compromises with Congress.

Governors at the meeting also included Democrat Mike Beebe of Arkansas, Democrat Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Republican Gary Herbert of Utah and Republican Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Obama put Vice President Joe Biden in charge of following up with the governors.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.