Obama presser — wants Harry Reid, who never allows votes on Republican legislation, to hold up or down vote on Obama’s plan
President Obama and congressional leaders met for just over an hour this afternoon to work on a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” in a meeting that was described as “constructive and candid.”….
A source familiar with the White House meeting tells CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett that the chief sticking point is the income threshold beyond which tax cuts will expire. The president pushed for the threshold to be $250,000, but Republicans balked.
The crucial issue in today’s meeting was the tax threshold, Garrett reports. Mr. Obama will stick to the Democrats’ idea of letting the cuts expire on those making over $250,000 and ask for an extension on unemployment benefits, which expire tomorrow, an official familiar with the meeting told Garrett. Boehner and McConnell are united in opposition to the $250,000 threshold and nothing will move if Mr. Obama holds firm with his party on letting the tax rates expire on that level of income.
However, Garrett reports, McConnell is ready to deal and has Republican support to strike a deal in the $500,000 range or slightly higher.
“a good and constructive discussion” … “I’m optimistic can reach an agreement” that can pass both houses of Congress.
If no deal reached, “I will urge Senator Reid to bring to the floor an up or down package” which continues “middle class” tax cuts and unemployment insurance, without anything containing deficit reduction.
Mr. He Who Does Nothing spent most of the presser bemoaning Congress for doing nothing.
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