Fiscal Cliff Notes
Fiscal Cliff Deal At Hand?
Monday, December 17, 2012 - 12:16pm
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Therapists call it a breakthrough.

For the first time since the talks begin, House Speaker John Boehner made an offer to the president that includes raising tax rates on anyone earning more than $1 million, a position his party has staunchly opposed. The proposal would also boost the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling for about another year, delaying an ugly, partisan fight during the holidays..

Though the speaker's offer signals that Republicans are willing to accede to several of President Obama's biggest demands, it was quickly rejected by the White House, which hasn't backed down on raising tax rates on families earning $250,000, and individuals earning $200,000 annually.

Boehner’s millionaire tax rate increase would generate an estimated $460 billion over the next decade — just half of what the president has demanded from the rich, according to official estimates.  -  Read more at The Fiscal Times

ANOTHER  HURDLE: HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF    Uncle Sam may have no choice but to open his wallet a bit more generously than many Republicans would like — with a Senate vote expected this week to approve the White House request of $60.4 billion in relief for Northeastern states devastated by Hurricane Sandy..

Many Republicans have quietly expressed reservations about the large request coming at a time when lawmakers are straining to trim spending to narrow the growing national deficit. Though not included in the Senate bill, some GOP lawmakers are calling for either a smaller amount, or spending cuts in other areas to offset the president's request.

“They have had a difficult time in New Jersey, and a difficult time in New York," Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-GA, told Roll Call, “but we have a disaster of a budget process right now, which is exacerbated by the fact that we have only got about $5 billion left in the fund for disasters.”  - Read more at Roll Call

FISCAL TALKS STALL NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET    - President Obama still has to cobble together a 2014 budget, a process that’s been delayed by negotiations over the fiscal crisis, White House officials told Politico on Sunday.

The customary late November pass-backs from the Office of Management and Budget, which tells federal agencies what resources they can expect to receive in the president's next budget, have been put on hold until the White House has a better idea of what will come of the talks with  Boehner. The officials said the 2014 budget itself will not likely be issued until March.  -  Read more at Politico

Washington Correspondent Brianna Ehley, based in D.C., covers Congress, government agencies and spending issues, health care, and tax and economic policy for The Fiscal Times.