With a New Year's Eve deadline only hours away, President Obama said a scaled down deal to avoid fiscal cliff tax hikes for the majority of Americans is "within sight, but it's not done."
In an address from the White House, Obama said the fiscal cliff -- $500 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that kick in at midnight -- would have to be solved "in stages." He said nailing down the tax cuts before the deadline is his priority, and Democrats and Republicans were still not in agreement on spending cuts, so those issues will have to be solved later.
Obama said the deal on the horizon makes sure taxes don't go up on middle class families, extends tuition tax credits, provides tax credits for clean energy companies, and keeps unemployment benefits flowing for two million Americans. He did not offer details, but the Washington Post reports that Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have worked out a plan that includes letting taxes rise on income over $450,000 a year for couples and $400,000 a year for individuals.
Obama emphasized that the deal was not finalized yet and the country was in for a nail-biting New Year's Eve. With Congress, "if there's even one second left before you have to do something, they will use that second," Obama said.
Via Politix and The Washington Post