Reid: Boehner standing in the way
WASHINGTON (AP) - Progress toward avoiding the "fiscal cliff" appears to be stalled -- with the Senate's top Democrat accusing House Speaker John Boehner of standing in the way of a solution to the looming tax hikes and spending cuts.
Speaking on the Senate floor today, Harry Reid accused Boehner of appearing to "care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on sound financial footing."
Reid said the House could easily have passed a plan approved by the White House, with a majority of Democratic votes and a few dozen Republican votes. But House leaders generally avoid doing that, because they might alienate the Republican caucus and jeopardize the speaker's job.
Also today, the White House says President Barack Obama made phone calls to Boehner, Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi before he left Hawaii for Washington yesterday. A statement says Obama got an update on the "fiscal negotiations," but it offered no detail on who is negotiating and whether the talks are getting anywhere.
As Obama flew back to Washington, even a stopgap solution seemed to be in doubt.
The House has passed a Republican plan to avert the fiscal cliff, and the Senate has passed a Democratic version. The deficit-cutting projections differ by hundreds of billions of dollars over 10 years.
Obama calls congressional leaders on fiscal cliff
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obama has made separate phone calls to congressional leaders to discuss the impending fiscal cliff.
A White House official says Obama called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi late Wednesday. The president made the calls before leaving his Hawaiian vacation for Washington, D.C.
The calls come amid little progress before the Dec. 31 deadline to avoid the fiscal cliff. Americans face major tax increases and spending cuts if Congress and the White House fail to reach a compromise by the end of the year.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the government appears headed over the so-called fiscal cliff because of a lack of progress in bipartisan negotiations.
The Nevada Democrat says it's up to congressional Republicans to come up with a plan that both houses would pass and President Barack Obama would sign.
Reid says of missing the Dec. 31 deadline to avoid the fiscal cliff, quote: "it looks like that's where we're headed."
Major tax hikes and spending cuts will hit most Americans if Congress and the White House don't reach a compromise by the year's end.
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