Congressional leaders were invited back to the White House for a Friday afternoon meeting in a last-ditch effort to reach some type of agreement that will forestall the fiscal cliff.
It’s still possible to reach a deal but it would be significantly scaled back from the package that was expected to be passed after the November election.
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At a minimum, the White House is pushing to get current tax laws extended for those making under $250,000 in annual income.
The late-date negotiations carry huge risks because they leave no margin for error. American anxiety over the budget battles is roiling investor confidence and threatens to throw the US economy back into recession, just as it has begun to establish a trend toward full recovery.
If a deal is struck at the last minute, it is most likely to come out of the Senate. The last several weeks have only entrenched American displeasure with blatant partisanship among lawmakers.
But there are political advantages to postponing action for both parties. There will be more Democratic seats in both the House and the Senate. And the issue of House Speaker John Boehner’s reelection would be behind him.
House GOP leaders called members back into session
on Sunday night and told them to expect to stay through the next Friday, indicating next week could be an event-filled one as the current tax laws expire.