UPDATE: House won't vote before midnight on 'cliff' deal

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House will miss the midnight Monday deadline lawmakers set for voting to avoid the "fiscal cliff."

House Republicans notified lawmakers that the chamber will vote Monday evening on other bills. They say that will be their only votes of the day.

President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Monday they are near a deal to avoid wide-ranging tax increases and spending cuts -- the fiscal cliff -- that take effect with the new year.

Both men said they were still bargaining over whether -- and how -- to avoid $109 billion in cuts to defense and domestic programs that take effect on Wednesday.

It remained unclear whether the Senate would vote Monday.

Congress could pass later legislation retroactively blocking the tax hikes and spending cuts.

Updated 11:28 a.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) --President Barack Obama says it appears that an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff is "within sight," but says it's not yet complete and work continues.

Obama says this has been a "pressing issue on people's minds," and tells an audience of middle-class taxpayers the deal would, among other things, extend unemployment benefits for Americans "who are still out there looking for a job."

He voiced regret that the work of the administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill won't produce a "grand bargain" on tax-and-spend issues, but said that "with this Congress, it couldn't happen at that time."

Officials familiar with the negotiations say an agreement would raise tax rates on family income over $450,000 a year and increase the estate tax rate.

ORIGINAL STORY

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The contours of a deal to avert the `fiscal cliff' are emerging that would raise tax rates on couples making over $450,000 a year, raise the estate tax rate and extend unemployment benefits for one year.

That's according to officials familiar with the negotiations.

The deal in the works would return tax rates on families making over $450,000 to 39.6 percent. The tax on estates worth more than $5 million would increase to 40 percent. And unemployment benefits would continue for one year.

The officials say the White House and Republicans are at an impasse over what to do about automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to begin taking effect on Jan. 1. Democrats want to put off the cuts for one year.

The officials requested anonymity in order to discuss the internal negotiations.


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