The president is confident that a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff will be reached, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Monday aboard Air Force Once. The president’s confidence comes on the heels of a closed-door meeting with House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday. Whether real progress was made in the meeting is unclear, both sides still say they are still waiting on specifics from the other with respect to spending and revenues.
“We’ve seen a sentence on revenue. And while there has been encouraging statements from individual lawmakers about the realization that rates will go up on the top two percent, we haven’t seen anything specific from Republicans with regard to that,” Carney said. Meanwhile, Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel says they are waiting to see specifics from the White House on spending. “The Republican offer made last week remains the Republican offer, and we continue to wait for the president to identify the spending cuts he’s willing to make as part of the ‘balanced’ approach he promised the American people,” Steel said. - Read more at The Hill
GRAHAM TELLS OBAMA TO “MAN UP” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., advised President Obama to “man up” and address entitlement reform as part of a deficit reduction package during an interview Monday on Fox News.
“You just got reelected. How about doing something big that is not liberal? Every big idea he has is a liberal idea that drowns us in debt.” Graham said. “I would like [Obama] to be remembered for a president who saved Social Security and Medicare from bankruptcy by working with Republicans…but he seems to have no inclination to be remembered for anything other than a guy who has a small view of our fiscal situation.” - Read more at Politico
SENATE DEMS PUSH FOR TAX DELAY ON MEDICAL DEVICES A group of 17 Democratic U.S. senators and senators-elect sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday requesting to delay implementing a tax on the medical-device industry that is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, as part of broader fiscal cliff negotiations.
“The medical device industry has received little guidance about how to comply with the tax, causing significant uncertainty and confusion for businesses,” the letter said. - Read more at The Wall Street Journal
FINANCIAL ADVISORS: DON’T FREAK OUT Despite all of the fiscal cliff drama that continues to have nearly everyone in the financial sector holding their breath, some advisors are telling their clients not to freak out over the fiscal fight in Washington.
"I'm actually telling people they should worry about the (Dec. 21) Mayan new year if they really want to worry about something scary," said Blayney, president of Directions for Women and consumer advocate for the professional Certified Financial Planner Board. We're not talking about the failure of the banking system …we're not talking about fraud or a housing crisis.” - Read more at NBC