Biden Tries to Sell Deal to Democrats

Monday, 31 Dec 2012 08:26 PM


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Vice President Joe Biden will come to the Capitol to present a bipartisan budget deal to wavering Democrats, in advance of a possible vote tonight, with tax increases for almost every U.S. worker set to start tomorrow.

Senate Republicans told reporters after a private meeting late today that many would support a deal to increase taxes on top earners, extend expanded unemployment benefits and prevent automatic spending cuts from taking effect for two months.

The timing of the votes and a likely lack of action by the House of Representatives means that tax cuts first enacted in 2001 will expire at midnight.

Taxpayers and investors won’t see immediate effects of the changes, which would accumulate over a matter of months. By acting early in 2013, Congress could reverse the $600 billion in tax and spending changes known as the fiscal cliff.

Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, both Arizona Republicans, said that a deal to avoid the automatic fiscal changes was in the final stages. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the chamber’s second-ranking Democrat, said Biden would brief fellow party members “when we get an agreement.”

The House concluded business until noon tomorrow without taking action on the budget. Republicans left open the option to return if needed.

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

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