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Senate Reps urge action soon to avoid U.S. fiscal cliff

(BLOOMBERG) — Congress should act to avert an “utterly predictable” fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts at the end of the year, 41 Republicans in the U.S. Senate wrote in a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid today.

If Congress does nothing, the George W. Bush-era tax cuts will expire Dec. 31 and automatic spending cuts will start in 2013. The combined effect of those and other scheduled fiscal changes could reduce gross domestic product by about 3 percent, Barclays Capital estimates.