Obama: 'Fiscal cliff' agreement "within sight"

Print
Email
|

Associated Press

Posted on December 31, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 31 at 12:30 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says a deal to avert across-the-board tax hikes and programs cuts is "within sight, but not done."

The president offered the update during a White House news briefing with a group of middle-income Americans standing with him. He said the last thing people want to hear on New Year's Eve is "another speech," but that he had to "talk about progress being made."

Obama said middle class families, businesses and the nation can't afford the kind of tax hikes that would go into effect tomorrow if there is no agreement. He called that possibility "a pressing concern on people's minds."

People aware of the talks say the potential agreement would extend tax cuts to households earning up to $450,000 but that divisions remain over spending cuts.

The president said the potential agreement would extend unemployment benefits for 2 million people. Obama said the deal would also include the extension of numerous tax credits including those for college tuition, families with children and clean energy.

Obama said he would have preferred "a grand bargain" to solve of the tax and spending problems but is hopeful Congress will approve the proposal being shaped.

%@AP Links

049-a-17-(President Obama, in interview taped Saturday)-"the American people"-President Obama says GOP leaders need to think about what they want. COURTESY: NBC's "Meet the Press" ((mandatory on-air credit)) (31 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *049 (12/31/12)>> 00:17 "the American people"

048-a-13-(President Obama, in interview taped Saturday)-"a serious way"-President Obama says the pressure is on Republican leaders. COURTESY: NBC's "Meet the Press" ((mandatory on-air credit)) (31 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *048 (12/31/12)>> 00:13 "a serious way"

015-w-32-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP correspondent, with President Obama)--With time quickly running out for a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, President Obama is putting the pressure squarely on Republicans. AP correspondent Sagar Meghani reports. (31 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *015 (12/31/12)>> 00:32

047-a-09-(President Obama, in interview taped Saturday)-"mad at me"-President Obama says GOP leaders have rejected his attempts to reach a bigger fiscal agreement. COURTESY: NBC's "Meet the Press" ((mandatory on-air credit)) (31 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *047 (12/31/12)>> 00:09 "mad at me"

050-a-07-(President Obama, in interview taped Saturday)-"the worst outcomes"-President Obama says the priority must be on protecting the middle class from tax hikes. COURTESY: NBC's "Meet the Press" ((mandatory on-air credit)) (31 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *050 (12/31/12)>> 00:07 "the worst outcomes"

Print
Email
|