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All the Republicans voted against it and all the Democrats voted for it, except Sen. Michael Bennet.

"All we ended up doing was avoiding this fiscal cliff, supplying another fiscal cliff, and we did nothing to materially address the deficit that we face," Bennet told 9NEWS.

That second cliff he refers to is the decision to delay negotiations on spending cuts for two months, which promises to be a contentious battle.

"As politicians here in Washington, we need to do better than lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis and then pretending that we've actually solved something-- only to have another looming crisis two months from now," Bennet said.

The idea of manufacturing a crisis (or cliff) is simple: to motivate action on a contentious issue, set up ugly consequences for not acting.

As we all learned as 2012 drew to a close, there is a problem with this approach: the general public is threatened with a painful outcome that is undesirable to nearly everyone if compromises are not forged.

Hundreds of people on the 9NEWS Facebook page took issue with the idea of using "cliffs" as a tool to spawn action in Congress.

Dozens of people channeled Donald Trump, saying they would tell Congress "you're fired!"

All seven of Colorado's incumbent House members won re-election in November.

"Lawmakers are responding to the cues they get from voters, but they're different groups of voters," explains 9NEWS Democratic political expert Andrew Romanoff. "The way Congress is drawn most members live in and represent safe seats."

In other words, members are generally voting how their own constituents want them to, rather than the way that the public at large wants.

9NEWS Republican political expert Ryan Frazier offered up an alternative to the kind of cliff Congress uses right now.

"A law on Congress that says you will act by a date certain," Frazier said.

Such a law would only work with some sort of consequences, and Frazier thinks those consequences should hurt Congress rather than hurt the public.

"You say to Congress, 'you don't get paid anything until you actually do something,'" Frazier said.

Don't hold your breath, but we'll let you know if any Colorado members introduce the Congress-doesn't-get-paid-until-it-acts Act of 2013.

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