FISCAL CLIFF: Down To The Wire...Deal Or No Deal? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

FISCAL CLIFF: 'Substantial' Cuts Likely To Military; Alex Rozier Reports

'Substantial' Cuts Likely To Military

ALEX ROZIER: A group of house Republicans and Democrats came together on Monday and they insist that substantial reductions in military spending should be part of any budget deal that President Barack Obama negotiates with Congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

Local military leaders at Fairchild Air Force base and the National Guard tell us that they have been instructed by the United States Department of Defense to not comment on what may happen. They say they will not engage in speculation.

Many lawmakers argue right now with the drawdown in Afghanistan and the end of the war in Iraq that reductions are possible.

Barney Frank of Massachusetts led the Congressional effort along with Chris Gibson of New York. Those two are on opposite sides of the aisle and they think national security will not be jeopardized by making cuts to defense.

If the two sides fail to reach an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, the military would face automatic, across-the-board cuts totaling $55 billion next year and close to $500 billion over ten years.

It is a wait and see game but it appears that as of right now lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are getting on board with substantial cuts to the military.

AP Sources: Obama, Boehner Talk On Fiscal Cliff

WASHINGTON (AP) - Administration and congressional officials say President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner spoke on the telephone early Tuesday evening. The conversation occurred after both sides exchanged new proposals on how to avoid looming fiscal cliff.
    
Obama and Boehner met Sunday at the White House. The White House then offered a new proposal lowering its proposed figure for tax revenue from $1.6 trillion to $1.4 trillion. Boehner offered a Republican counter proposal on Tuesday.
    
While Tuesday's phone conversation and the exchange of offers indicated stepped up activity, it was unclear whether the talks were resulting in real progress.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Boehner: Obama Slow Walking Cliff Talks

WASHINGTON (AP) - House Speaker John Boehner says President Barack Obama is slow-walking talks to avoid the fiscal cliff, and hasn't outlined spending cuts he's willing to support as part of a compromise.
    
The Ohio Republican said Tuesday that without spending cuts, there can be no balanced plan to reduce deficits and avoid the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in at the turn of the year.
    
In a downbeat assessment of negotiations to date, the speaker said the longer the president drags the talks, the closer the economy gets to the fiscal cliff and the threat of a new recession.

Pelosi Calls For Vote On Extending Most Tax Cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is calling on Republicans to permit a vote on President Barack Obama's plan to let tax cuts expire at upper incomes, while keeping them in place for the middle class.
    
In remarks on the floor of the House, she predicted the legislation would pass.
    
Rebutting remarks that Speaker John Boehner made moments earlier, the California Democrat said Obama and Democrats have in fact identified spending cuts they can support as part of a balanced plan to avert a "fiscal cliff" that threatens to send the economy into another recession.
    
Without action by Congress, tax cuts will expire on all income levels and government funding for numerous programs will be cut at the end of the year.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House has said that President Barack Obama still believes a deal with Republicans is possible in order to avoid a fiscal cliff.
    
But there's been no outward signs of progress in talks on how to reach a budget agreement. Obama still wants to raise taxes on individuals making more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000.
    
Top Republicans say they're waiting for Obama to say the word on what spending cuts can come to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

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