Fiscal cliff talks hit a lull with deadline looming
Wed, 19 Dec 2012 03:50:11 GMT —
There's a lull in the fiscal cliff talks as the White House and leading congressional Democrats have rejected the "Plan B" presented by House Speaker John Boehner.
Boehner's plan would extend soon-to-expire Bush-era tax cuts for everyone making less than $1 million -- but would not address huge across-the-board spending cuts that would strike the Pentagon and domestic programs next year.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says "everyone should understand Boehner's proposal will not pass the Senate."
Boehner's "Plan B" came after significant progress over the past several days in talks with President Barack Obama. Those talks produced movement on tax rate hikes that have been unsettling to GOP conservatives and on cuts to Social Security benefits that have incensed liberal Democrats.
Just Monday, Obama had offered concessions, including a plan to raise top tax rates on households earning more than $400,000. But the outlines of a possible Obama-Boehner agreement appeared to have shaky support from Boehner's leadership team and outright opposition from key Republicans.
The economy-threatening deadline is only two weeks away.