House Won’t Vote So Over The Fiscal Cliff We Go

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The biggest threat posed by the $7 trillion fiscal cliff is that it could throw the U.S. economy into recession next year. But how exactly? The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Thursday estimated the economic punch of different parts of the cliff — a series of spending cuts and tax increases that starting taking effect […]

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(Washington, D.C.) CBS News reports the House will not vote tonight meaning the nation will go over the so-called fiscal cliff at midnight.

President Obama took to the stage with middle-class taxpayers standing behind him this afternoon to announce that Congress is making “progress” and that “it appears an agreement…is in sight.”

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said on the Senate floor. “I was very disappointed to hear what the president just had to say in front of a pep rally – something very unbecoming of where we are at this moment… I know the president has fun heckling Congress. I think he lost, probably, numbers of votes with what he did – he didn’t lose mine; I’m not that way, I’m gonna look at the substance. But it’s unfortunate that he doesn’t spend as much time working on solving problems as he does with campaigns and pep rallies.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., described the status of the talks even more positively saying he and his main negotiating partner, Vice President Joe Biden, are “very, very close to an agreement.”

While he didn’t provide details, McConnell said on the Senate floor, “We’ve reached an agreement on all of the tax issues.”

Multiple congressional sources tell CBS News that the two sides have agreed on a permanent 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.

Other likely components of the deal include an increase in capital gains and dividend tax rates, which would increase from 15 to 20 percent. There would also be an extension of the Earned Income Child Tax Credit, a permanent fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax and a one-year extension of tax credits for renewable energy development. And doctors would be shielded from a massive reimbursement gab for treating Medicare patients.

The entire tax deal would raise about $600 billion, aides said.

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