Details emerge in fiscal cliff agreement
December 31st, 2012
09:49 PM ET
10 months ago

Details emerge in fiscal cliff agreement

Washington (CNN) – A deal was reached between Congressional leaders and the White House late Monday night, according to a Democratic source.

The agreement brokered by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was later signed off on by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid during calls with President Barack Obama, said a source familiar with the deal.

The same source said the plan postpones the sequester by two months, half paid for through tax revenue and half paid for through spending cuts. Half of the spending cuts stems from defense spending and half from non-defense spending.

The individual $5 million exemption level for the estate tax, an element supported by Republicans, will remain. But that cap is indexed to inflation, meaning it will increase every year, according to the same source, an element incorporated at the insistence of moderate Democrats.

Additionally, the “Doc Fix,” payments to doctors who take Medicare patients that the GOP wanted, will continue but will not be paid for by the Affordable Care Act.

The tentative agreement also includes a one year extension of unemployment benefits and will allow income taxes for individuals making $400,000 a year and households making $450,000 to return to the Clinton-era rate of 39.6%.

The deal resolves other outstanding sticking points by including an extension in tax credits for child care and tuition. It also caps itemized deductions, starting at a threshold of $250,000 for individuals and $300,000 for households.


Filed under: Congress • Fiscal Cliff • President Obama
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Eric

    Happy New Years, now lets make a deal and get back to reality tv

    December 31, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  2. Ala_Mom

    This is scare tactics all over again!!
    Boehner needs a boot out of his HOUSE!!!

    December 31, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  3. ernie

    After all is said and done, Congress has in reality accomplished NOTHING. No suprise there, since they have accomplished noothing all year. Great job everyone...

    December 31, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  4. schaz

    I don't see any mention in the story that the Speaker of the House is on board. If he doesn't approve, there will be no vote in the House of Representatives.

    December 31, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  5. cj

    nothing about spending cuts? Of any kind?

    December 31, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  6. What

    In other words, the GOP gets everything it wanted, and Obama get's none. Good job. Vote out the GOP in 2014

    December 31, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  7. Coach

    Well, who did not see this coming. High drama in Washington......Hope all of the Congress enjoys their suds and duds tonight.... What mess did you really get us into? The 'devil', I suppose, will be in the details.....When will the public see that information?

    December 31, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  8. Bidya

    Well done so far. I sincerely hope that the House doesn't veto this, throwing the whole effort into a waste and plummeting the financial rating of US down. Another game is in the offing anyway (the debt ceiling increase).

    December 31, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. Chops Veghter

    Too bad the House chose to not inconvenience themselves on New Years eve and adjourned early. I guess they showed where their priorities are.

    December 31, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  10. gutsch3333

    All that wasted time on a deal that does NOTHING to solve the our financial mess!!!!

    December 31, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  11. michael poteete

    once again our poor excuse for a president has screwed america. the democrats are not on the peoples side. impeach obama! democrats are you listing!

    December 31, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  12. Mike

    Way to kick the can down the road, ladies and gents!

    December 31, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  13. vidal808

    So what took them so long? This could have happend a month ago. If anyone runs a business like that it would not last very long. I am sorry for the Congressional Staff, having to put up with all the BS and probably working overtime. I hope the American people remember this when they vote in 2014,

    December 31, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  14. gutsch3333

    This solves NOTHING!!!!

    December 31, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  15. Mahhn

    The real issue is the leaches on society that call themselves Senators and Congressmen. They collect huge pay, give themselves a lifetime retirement after 6 months of employment. Have never balanced a budge in the last 50+ years. Corruption is what is killing this country, not guns, foreign manufacturing, bad weather, Corruption is the bane of the USA and they have a firm grip, but they are only a few hundered of them, just remember that folks. Lets elect farmers and teachers next election – people that actually plan years ahead for the good! – no more political type, we've been trying that and looks what is has done to our once great nation! I'm almost 50 and have never been so ashamed of our politicians actions.

    December 31, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  16. shane

    bout time

    December 31, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  17. dax

    Can i have my Pot now? or do u still feel the need to put more tax dollars in raiding cannabis shops,while we force more people out of work and take money from the common worker ???

    December 31, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  18. Alan

    they're not worried because their income won't be affected

    December 31, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  19. Kerplunk

    Breathtaking......one way to run using no tax as the kicker.....they bam, we pay tax.....very good boys, very good.

    December 31, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  20. Saxson

    So Pretty much nothing happend.. go politicians.

    December 31, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  21. Alan

    enough to see the cataclysm, anyway.

    December 31, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  22. Citizen Patriot

    39% tax rate for any American citizen should call for a revolution!

    December 31, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  23. Greg

    The only issue I have is that we are deferring spending cuts yet again. I am always concerned when the can is kicked down the road because we seem to keep kicking it when we catch up to it. We have to start paying the bills we have accrued and in a major way.

    December 31, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  24. Paul

    About time congress decides to do something!!!!! Next time cut all the drama and do your job.

    December 31, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  25. michael poteete

    this is not a threat against our way of life. it is just that people in this country are angry and scared about their future and their families future. if we dont do this. god help us. no one else can.

    December 31, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
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