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. russell bonneau

    this is so poor. tax breaks for millionaires, please. sounds like donations for elections pays off.

    December 31, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  2. Leo

    It is a patch.

    December 31, 2012 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  3. Jack Be Humble

    No mention of the Republican Speaker, Mr. Boehner in this article. I'm sure it's just a journalistic oversight.

    December 31, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  4. Jim Bow

    Well, its about time.

    December 31, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  5. Jason Davis

    Well nice to see these tow groups of fools can kick the can down the road a little further and still not seriously deal with the deficit or taxation issues.

    December 31, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  6. Buffalo2002

    It's the eleventh hour but hopefully this will pass and show that the parties can work together for the betterment of 99% of the American people

    December 31, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Our CINC couldn't lead himself out of a paper bag.

    January 1, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  8. Mike

    blah blah blah – here we go again

    January 1, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  9. Jason

    Spin doctors, no vote happened so no deal exists, period.

    January 1, 2013 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  10. Willy

    just like most basketball games- nothing worth watching since the last minute of the game. LOL

    January 1, 2013 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  11. McBob79

    Don't be fooled. Your taxes are going up no matter how much money you earn. This "deal" does absolutely nothing but raise taxes. There are no spending cuts, no deficit reductions and no payment on the debt. This is an unmitigated disaster and it will be portrayed by the incompetent bozo in the white house as a victory, but he'll also qualify it by saying, "but we have more work to do". This guy is a disaster... God help us all!

    January 1, 2013 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  12. rotorhead1871

    and on the spending side??????

    January 1, 2013 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  13. Thomas More

    The taxes do not solve anything...debt needs to be reduced and Obama is holding the 98% hostage because he is a hater....

    January 1, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  14. Melissa

    Now let's see what those wacko reps in the house do...

    January 1, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  15. sqeptiq

    Now we will see if the House Republicans try a "pull the rabbit from the hat" illusion to claim that they are really voting for a huge tax cut for middle income Americans. They have little shame so it's likely. Check that...no shame.

    January 1, 2013 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  16. jauharah

    So its not really a deal, but rather a postponement. Without question taxes on the wealthy should increase and the middle class should remain low. Doctors who treat Medicaid patients should be paid since the people deserve healthcare. Tax credits for child care and tuition are necessary because those costs are too high. A tax credit on groceries would be nice since those costs are way too high as well.

    January 1, 2013 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  17. Woo

    50% tax and 50% spending cuts.

    So they CAN make deals up there after all.

    January 1, 2013 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  18. ricatthebeach

    Agreement? What agreement? We're over the cliff, baby. Heeeeeeelp, somebody hep me, pease!

    January 1, 2013 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  19. Giz

    These people are so out of touch with reality that it isn't even funny.
    We need to stop send millions of our dollars to other countries and start spending it here, end of story. We think that building/upgrading a building in another country will get them to like us well let me tell you if you think that then you don't know these country's at all. The middle east looks at us as week for doing this and they are right. We have to many that need help in this country to ignore. Our infrastructure is failing at an alarming rate and nobody in power seems to care. These people including our president care only for there selves and no one else, don't be fooled by them.

    We need help in this country to make it strong again. We need to bring back the values that made this country what it is. We need to stop outsourcing our wealth and keep it here.

    January 1, 2013 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  20. Dan

    this is not good enough.. What about a federal sales tax? We need to balance our federal deficit and debt.. The only way to do that is with tough love..

    January 1, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  21. Jon Samuel

    There is nothing about ANY reduced spending. Therefore the whole "deal" is just BS. It should be rejected out of hand. Let everyone's taxes go up until democrats are willing to agree to spending cuts

    January 1, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  22. kas

    I hope the house does not cave in to this agreement, if everyone that the Clinton era tax rates was so good let's go back to them and with that a budget that will be followed. I have to live within my means let the government do the same. The pain will hurt us all let's do get it over with. I think no deal is better than a bad one. If with make a deal make it for the whole year besides kickin it down the road, for we all know no spending cuts will happen. More debt that we will have to deal with, wait let's just print more money no more problems

    January 1, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  23. Anonymous

    Politicians likes to play the kids game before they can get serious.

    January 1, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  24. Unsupportive

    What the heck? This whole mess and decision makes our country and diplomats look like a circus to the rest of the civilizled world. Way to wait to last darn minute to make any decisions.

    January 1, 2013 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  25. Unsupportive

    Really disappointed. This is a Great country and I expect a great deal more than last minute deals.

    January 1, 2013 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
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