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As this year's elections kicks into full gear, partisan bickering is distracting lawmakers on Capitol Hill, but some of the senators in the region are urging their colleagues to start resolving some looming battles now.
"We all realize that fairly quickly after the election we've got deadlines," said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. "If we think the challenge was great with the debt ceiling, folks ain't seen nothing yet."
Economists say the US is heading toward a "fiscal cliff" on January 1, when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and more than a trillion dollars is scheduled to be cut from the federal budget.
Sen. Warner, who does not have to worry about being reelected this year, is meeting with a bipartisan group of senators trying to work out a broad compromise to reduce the deficit. He says he wants to avoid a last minute showdown like the one that happened with the debt ceiling debate last year.
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md. is up for reelection this year, but he agrees that Congress can't afford to wait to resolve major fiscal issues in the lame duck session after the elections.
"I want to get things done. I'd like to get some form of a budget moving forward, perhaps eliminating the $1.2 trillion in sequestration or at least do the extenders, so I'm for trying to get some action before Nov. 6."