PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- By now, you have probably heard of the "fiscal cliff" - the term used to describe a group of federal tax increases and spending cuts due to take effect at the end of the year if Congress and the White House fail to reach a compromise.
These pre-approved adjustments would save $503-billion in the federal budget, but hurt nearly every American financially.
First of all, the tax increases would affect all of our paychecks.
Basically, your payroll tax withholding after December 31st, will go from 4.2% to 6.2%, so we'll all see a decrease in the amount of money we take home.
There are more widespread cuts, affecting a number of departments - everything from education to defense to environmental protection.
A mixed group gathered in Portland early Monday evening to call on Maine's Senators to not only oppose cuts to certain programs, but also to end tax cuts to the richest 2%.
Members of teacher's unions held signs saying "support kids not cuts," while others at the vigil focused their message on opposing cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
The automatic cuts could be devastating to major Maine companies too, like Bath Iron Works. Cuts to the defense budget would mean more layoffs here: nearly 1,000 jobs lost at BIW.
After the vigil, the group was scheduled to meet with staff members of Senator Susan Collins to share their concerns, they hope their message makes it to Washington in time.