With Congress now in recess, it seems that time has run out to strike a grand bargain type of deal on the fiscal cliff issue.
But US lawmakers noted on Sunday that there is still time to at least formulate a small deal and lawmakers from both parties said on news shows Sunday, December 23, they would support a measure to avoid tax hikes on most Americans.
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It would have to come in the form of a patch at this point. Basics of the deal would stop the tax increase at a reasonable salary level. That would enable spending cuts to be negotiated after-the-fact.
The President urged lawmakers on Friday to pass a stripped-down budget plan that would push into next year broader efforts to come up with a long-term deficit-reduction plan.
The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee said the two parties should split the difference between the two plans offered by the White House and House Speaker John Boehner.
It may come down to the last minute of the year for lawmakers to decide to, at a minimum, avoid tax hikes on the middle class.
But not all lawmakers were optimistic. As of this writing, the end of the year is seven days away