White House Meeting a Last Stab at a Fiscal Deal

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

UPDATE: A person familiar with the details says President Barack Obama is not making a new `fiscal cliff' offer at his high-stakes meeting with congressional leaders at the White House.
Obama instead is spelling out again a plan he says can pass the House and Senate, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was unauthorized to speak publicly about the private meeting.
Obama wants a bill to halt looming tax increases on all families making $250,000 a year or less and would extend unemployment insurance to many people about to lose it. His proposal would also cover other issues as the Jan. 1 deadline nears.
If he does not get a counter proposal that can pass both chambers, Obama will press for a straight up-or-down vote on his idea, the source said.

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Congressional leaders have arrived at the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama in an eleventh-hour effort to avert a fiscal cliff of across-the-board tax increases and steep spending cuts.
House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi arrived at the White House separately for the 3 p.m. session.
Obama was expected to present a proposal to extend current tax rates to all but the wealthiest Americans, extend aid for the jobless and other measures that need immediate congressional attention.
Vice President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also were attending. The session represented hope for a deal before Dec. 31, after which higher taxes and spending cuts would kick in.


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