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Progress Reported on Fiscal Cliff Deal After White House Meeting

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 28-Dec-2012
Updated: 28-Dec-2012 09:59 PM

The top Democrat and the top Republican in the Senate reportedly are jointly working on a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff after a meeting at the White House this afterrnoon of top congressional leaders and the President.

Details are sketchy, but multiple news sources are reporting that Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agreed to spend the weekend trying to come up with a deal that will pass muster with both parties on both sides of Capitol Hill.  The Senate returned to work yesterday; the House will meet for legislative business on Sunday.

The news came after a one-hour meeting among top House and Senate Democratic and Republican leaders and President Obama, Vice President Biden, and top advisors.   The President said at a press conference after the meeting that if Reid and McConnell are unable to reach a bipartisan agreement, he will press for a Democratic proposal to be put forward instead for an up and down vote that would protect the middle class from tax increases, extend unemployment benefits, and lay the "groundwork for future cooperation on more economic growth and deficit reduction."  He said he believed such a measure would pass both chambers if the leaders would allow it to come to a vote.  He called the meeting today "constructive."

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