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K Street Files: NAM at White House for Fiscal Cliff Talks

The president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers and one of the group’s top lobbyists are slated to discuss the fiscal cliff and its ramifications for the manufacturing sector with White House officials Monday.

Jay Timmons, who heads the trade group, and his senior vice president of government relations, Aric Newhouse, will meet with Obama administration officials Gene Sperling and Jeff Zients, according to a NAM spokesman.

Sperling is director of the National Economic Council, and Zients is acting director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Late last week, NAM reported that the number of manufacturers who have an “optimistic outlook” about the future of their companies has dropped nearly 40 percent over this year. The group said the stalemate over the fiscal cliff was largely at fault. The NAM report also said that manufacturers’ predictions about future capital spending and hiring turned negative for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2009.

“As negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff drag on, Washington policymakers cannot continue to ignore the dangerous warning signs from the manufacturing sector,” said Timmons in a blog post on the NAM website. “Without action to address the fiscal issues facing us, manufacturers are at serious risk. The message from manufacturers couldn’t be clearer and their concerns more justified — they are worried for their businesses, their employees and our nation’s future. Washington must listen to their call.”

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