With deadline hours away, parties see progress in last-minute ‘fiscal cliff’ talks

by Alan Fram And Julie Pace, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Democrats and Republicans say signs of progress are emerging in urgent negotiations to avert the looming ‘fiscal cliff’ ahead of a midnight deadline.

A person familiar with the negotiations says Democrats have offered to extend tax cuts for families making up to $450,000 a year and individuals making up to $400,000. President Barack Obama originally wanted the tax cuts to be extended only for families making up to $250,000 a year.

Unless an agreement is reached and approved by Congress by the start of New Year’s Day, more than $500 billion in 2013 tax increases will begin to take effect and $109 billion will be carved from defence and domestic programs

The person familiar with the talks requested anonymity in order to discuss the internal negotiations.


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