Fiscal cliff deal 'not close'

The Republican whip, Kevin McCarthy, indicated that the two sides are "not close" and are just getting started. At this rate, a deal will get done just in time for the Labor Day recess next year. Reuters: "There's nothing agreed to. They are just beginning to talk," he said of House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama. Meanwhile, Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said on MSNBC Monday he thought Congress could resolve some of the issues by the December 31 deadline -- among them the hikes in tax rates-but might have to leave others for the new Congress that takes office in January. The two major elements of the so-called cliff are automatic spending reductions set to occur starting January 1 and tax cuts that expire at the end of the year. Democrats, including Obama, want the reduced taxes extended for all but the highest earners, while Republicans want them continued for all brackets. Also in the mix is...(Read Full Post)