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Schatz Sworn in as Hawaii Senator; Biden Talks Fiscal Cliff

Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Hawaii(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that he is “neither optimistic nor pessimistic” as the clock ticks quickly toward the end-of-year deadline to get a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Biden appeared on Capitol Hill briefly Thursday afternoon to swear in Hawaii’s newest Senator, Brian Schatz, but did not have any side meetings while on the Hill on the fiscal cliff, the package of automatic federal tax increases and spending cuts set to kick in at the end of the year.

Asked what sort of plan might work to avert the fiscal cliff, he replied to a reporter, “You tell me what will attract Republican votes and I will tell you.”

Biden heads back to the White House to have a previously scheduled meeting with President Obama.

The vice president was on the Hill to swear in Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz to replace the late Sen. Daniel Inouye as the U.S. senator from Hawaii.  Schatz walked hand-in-hand on the floor with Hawaii’s senior Senator, Sen. Daniel Akaka before reciting the oath of office.

The swearing in took place on the Senate floor.

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