During his weekly press conference in the Capitol on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner declined to rule out raising tax rates on the nation's wealthiest 2 percent, a position he has consistently rejected. Boehner's silence may reveal that House Republicans could be open to reaching a compromise on tax rates with the White House unless the president "wastes another week" as Boehner put it, by “doing a slow walk up the fiscal cliff.”
“There are a lot of things that are possible to put the revenue the president seeks on the table,” Boehner said in a Friday news conference. “But none of it’s going to be possible if the president insists on his position. Insists on my way or the highway. That’s not the way to get to an agreement that I think is important for the American people and very important for our country.” - Read more at The Fiscal Times
FEDERAL AGENCIES PLAN FOR FURLOUGHS Gearing up to absorb the automatic spending cuts slated for next year, some federal agencies are already planning for furloughs for federal workers, the Washington Post reports.
"The Defense Department is likely to impose an immediate hiring freeze on its civilian workforce," Army Lt. Col. Elizabeth Robbins told The Washington Post. "Furloughs, rather than layoffs, would begin within a few weeks." - Read more at The Washington Post
VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO K STREET Lobbyists are cashing in on the looming fiscal cliff that has everyone outside of K Street in a complete panic. The Free Beacon reports that organizations have so far spent $1.3 billion lobbying on issues surrounding the fiscal cliff, and lobbying experts at the Center for Responsive Politics expect organizations to pour $1 billion more into lobbying in the final quarter of 2012.
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