Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner has long maintained his beliefs that while it would certainly hurt if Congress went over the fiscal cliff, his county would be able to weather all the negative effects.
He kept that position after meeting Monday morning with Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, one of the most visible Democrats during the whole saga. Berliner says Van Hollen seemed "guardedly optimistic" that the fiscal cliff will be avoided, which was good enough for Berliner.
"I think that with the election behind us, this is the time when a deal is most possible," he says. "If we can't cut a deal now, we really are in serious trouble as a nation. And I just refuse to believe that is the case."
The federal government is far and away the biggest employer in the county, and the drastic budget cuts would bring the most impact, particularly those at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.