Fiscal cliff talks said to be progressing


President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) are said to be working on a new resolution to the fiscal cliff.

The Associated Press reports that the president has proposed raising the income threshold for extension of the Bush tax cuts to those making $400,000 annually, as opposed his previous threshold of $200,000 annually for individuals and $250,000 for familes. The president is also said to have asked for a debt limit extension that would last 2 years.

Boehner has signaled a willingness to negotiate, reports the National Journal, having said he would agree to a deal involving higher tax rates on earners of more than $1 million a year that would bring roughly $1 trillion in new revenue over a decade.

The Journal also reports that Boehner may try to pass a House bill with tax raises on just those millionaires by Dec. 20, putting the Senate in charge of part of the compromise process.

The Senate is making some preparations to work on the fiscal cliff beyond its normal schedule, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Dec. 17 telling (.pdf) the Senate that it will reconvene on Dec. 26 to complete work on the fiscal cliff negotiations.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said during a Dec. 17 press briefing that the president "would veto any legislation that got to his desk that extended those tax cuts for the top 2 percent."

A Defense Department official has warned that sequestration could result in furloughs for the civilian workforce and stretched out maintenance periods, less flying hours before deployment, less training," as Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey told sailors on Dec. 14.

According to a new CBS News poll, 69 percent of Americans disapprove of the Republican's handling of these negotiations and 50 percent disapprove of how the president and the Democrats are handling the talks.

Only half of Americans actually expect a budget deal to be reached before the end of calendar 2012, the poll says.

For more:
read the Dec. 17 White House press conference transcript
view the entire CBS News poll
read the AFPS article

Related Articles:
Fed fears the cliff and Americans want resolution
OMB plans for sequestration as Congress talks debt ceiling
Bowles distances himself from House Republican fiscal cliff proposal