US set to head over fiscal cliff as talks go down to the wire
The United States was on track to tumble over the “fiscal cliff” at midnight on Monday, at least for a day, as lawmakers held back from supporting an eleventh-hour plan from Senate leaders to avert severe tax increases and spending cuts.
The important date is the date in the legislative language … no matter what day the Senate or House pass the law, or the date the president signs it
The US House of Representatives looked unlikely to vote on a Senate “fiscal cliff” plan before midnight (4pm AEST), possibly pushing a legislative decision into New Year’s Day, when financial markets will be closed.
The Senate plan was heavy on tax increases and light on spending cuts, raising concerns that it would repel rank-and-file lawmakers, particularly in the Republican-controlled House.
It would raise income taxes on high-income Americans, but leave taxes at current levels for the middle class, a key goal of US President Barack Obama.
As Mr McConnell and Mr Biden kept working on unresolved parts of the deal, there was deep discontent among Senate Democrats worried that the proposal did not go far enough in taxing the rich.
The Democrats asked for a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden to have him explain the talks he was having with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“The caucus as a whole is not sold” on the proposal, said a Senate Democratic aide. “We just don’t have the votes for it.”
If Congress fails to act, about $US600 billion in tax increases and government-wide spending cuts will begin taking effect after midnight, harsh measures that could push the US economy into recession.
But lawmakers could still vote for any deal on New Year’s Day and prevent the worst of the fiscal cliff effect.
just go over already..its about the debt ceiling really but dont tell anybody..they might remember its $17T..oh..and hasnt the feds lease of 99 years finished now??..check it out..