President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) expressed optimism Sunday that a deal can be reached to avert the “fiscal cliff” automatic spending reductions and tax hikes slated to take effect Jan. 1.
“I am confident we can get our fiscal situation dealt with,” Obama told a news conference in Bangkok, where he is starting a three-nation trip.
Congressional leaders have agreed to a fast-paced negotiation process to try to broker a “fiscal cliff” deal. Photo: AP
Pelosi said any accord must include tax-rate hikes for the wealthy.
“Just to close loopholes is far too little money,” Pelosi told ABC’s “This Week” when asked about the option of capping deductions and closing some loopholes without changing the current tax rates for the wealthiest Americans.
Republicans have said they are willing to consider new revenue such as closing loopholes, but have not endorsed tax hikes on the wealthy.
Interviewed Sunday on CNN, Rep. Tom Price (R, Ga.) rejected the notion of increased tax rates on the highest earners, stressing instead “pro-growth” policies to broaden the tax base.
Before departing for Asia, Obama on Friday began a new round of deficit-reduction negotiations with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders in an effort to avoid more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that could push the nation into a recession next year.
Bush-era tax cuts are scheduled to expire and across-the-board spending cuts are slated to start in January due to Washington’s failure to reach agreement on a deficit-reduction package last year.
Via – MarketWatch
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