A last-minute deal at Friday’s White House meeting to avert the fiscal cliff appears highly unlikely, according to senior officials on both sides, with President Barack Obama expected to renew his demands for a plan to raise taxes on families who earn more than $250,000.The only thing that I'm sure of is that the last thing Congress needs is more time to get a deal done. None of these issues are new. They've had plenty of time to deal with them. If they can't get it done now, it's because they don't want to get it done—not because the clock ran out on them.
Obama summoned House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to the Friday afternoon meeting before a year-end deadline where about $500 billion of tax hikes and spending cuts are slated to take effect if Washington doesn’t act. The meeting is expected to last at least one hour.
What appears more likely is either a bipartisan recognition that a deal is out of reach, or, at best, lawmakers would agree to continue talking before the New Year’s Day deadline.
At the meeting, Obama is expected to make what the White House considers a scaled-back offer — one to raise taxes on income over $250,000, extend jobless benefits, delay defense and domestic cuts and patch the Alternative Minimum Tax, sources say. Raising taxes at that level is a non-starter for Republicans, who want far more in spending cuts.
With President Obama set to meet with Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate at the top of the hour, speculation is rampant that offers will be made but that nothing will happen. Exactly what the outcome will be, nobody really knows. But here's Politico's report:
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