MARYLAND

Cardin talks fiscal cliff, FBI with Montgomery County council

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Senator Ben Cardin was all smiles at a luncheon Monday despite delivering hard to digest news about Montgomery County's fate if the fiscal cliff isn't resolved.

He says Montgomery County would be hit harder than most areas because county residents pay higher than average income taxes, tens of thousands of residents work for the government and many private companies rely on federal contracts.

“When you put all that together, Montgomery County would be hit harder than anyone else in this region,” he says.

But Cardin says a cliff dive isn't likely and he believes it will be resolved by Christmas Eve.

“Two weeks from now, we're in the week of Christmas,” he says. “I think that acts as a deadline for congress.”

Time is also ticking on proposals for the new FBI headquarters.

Councilmember Craig Rice says Montgomery County is officially entering the race.

“I think you'll definitely see something very soon from our office of economic development and a proposal and some sites identified,” he says.

But Cardin wasn't receptive, saying he would support Prince George's County, which has been ignored in the past.

“I’m going to be bullish on federal facilities located in Maryland, but I want to promote areas that I think have been unfairly utilized in Prince George's County,” he says.

He urged for a concrete plan if the county is serious about pursuing the FBI.

County executive hopeful Phil Andrews resurrected the debate surrounding the price of the ICC.

Cardin responded by saying he felt toll roads were necessary for funding transportation, but the cost must match what drivers are willing to pay.

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