Movement away from the cliff….
Meanwhile, CBS News has learned that there has been agreement on two of the major hangups.
Multiple congressional sources tell CBS News that the two sides have agreed on an income threshold for the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans: $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for families. For weeks, Democrats have pushed for letting the cuts expire for those making over $200,000 and families making over $250,000 while Republicans have wanted to renew the cuts for all Americans, including the wealthiest.
Additionally, agreement has been reached on the estate tax, which was set to increase from 35 percent to 55 percent in 2013. Instead, the compromise sets the new rate at 40 percent with the first $5 million exempt from being taxed.
Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have been the key negotiators over the past 24 hours and the movement on taxes represents a huge step forward in the talks.
As Republicans appear to cave in; the president keeps up the pressure.
Meet the Press 12-30-2012
“So far, at least, Congress has not been able to get this stuff done,” Obama said. “Not because Democrats in Congress don’t want to go ahead and cooperate, but because I think it’s been very hard for Speaker Boehner and Republican Leader McConnell to accept the fact that taxes on the wealthiest Americans should go up a little bit as part of an overall deficit reduction package.”
Filed under 1, Obama, Politics
Seems like a good time to offer some brainy quotes from the people who pretend to have the country in mind.
And the winners are… the Republican leaders of the Senate and House who appear to be held hostage by the wing-nut fringe of their party — assuming they are not themselves converts to the cause.
John Boehner, for having washed his hands of the matter, waiting for something to happen. Could it be that he wants to hold onto the speakership, no matter what happens to the country?
Mitch McConnell, who vowed with fellow Republicans on inauguration night 2009 that he would block everything President Obama tried–and to make him a one-term president. On the brink or wrecking the economy by refusing to be a statesman, he blames President Obama and the Democrats as usual.
“I did my part; they’ve done nothing. I’m convinced that the president is unwilling to stand up to his own party.”
“They’ve been playing Lucy and the football with the American people for months. They’ve said no to every single proposal that’s been offered to avoid this tax hike—including their own. They’re running out the clock. Moving the goal posts. Sitting on their hands. They aren’t doing anything.”
Who buys this stuff?