December 25th, 2012
11:40 AM ET
10 years ago

Fiscal cliff bill could come down to wire

Honolulu (CNN) - Though the U.S. Senate is slated to reconvene Thursday, Democrats in the chamber are considering delaying the roll out of their bill to avert the year-end fiscal cliff within just a couple days of the new year, according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide.

The move is part of an effort to gain some Republican backing for a bill, but also to run out the clock and increase pressure on House Speaker John Boehner to take up the bill and House Republicans to support it.

Senate Democrats plan to unveil a bill only when there is Republican support in the Senate, said the aide.

Congress and the president are taking a holiday break, with plans to return to work Thursday to try to find a deal in the final five days of the year. White House aides and Senate Democrats are working out details of a proposal, though no weekend conversations occurred between Democratic and Republican negotiators, according to multiple sources from both parties.

The main dispute continues to be over taxes, specifically the demand by Obama and Democrats to extend most of the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush while allowing higher rates of the 1990s to return on top income brackets.

Republicans oppose any kind of increase in tax rates, and Boehner suffered the political indignity last week of offering a compromise that his colleagues refused to support.

READ MORE: What options lie ahead for Senate Democrats

Filed under: Fiscal Cliff
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. strangerq

    What was the mandate? "Jobs, jobs, jobs." In case you are wondering, not a single job bill was passed.

    ^ They don't care about jobs. They hate the unemployed anyway – as a part of the 47% who pay no income taxes.

    US politics is now GOP vs. America.

    December 25, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. Grumpy2012

    In other words, we don't want the world to know what a boondoggle we're trying to pull on the Republicans.

    December 25, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. PtBarnumBoy

    A pox on all their houses. Our system has failed.

    December 25, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. Lisa S

    This article is more BS propaganda from CNN. Really, the hold up seems to be taxes. No, the GOP already stated and put forth bills that would accept higher taxes. The problem is, spending is still not up for discussion by the Dems. Just because CNN spouts off its propaganda doesn't make it so. Who can believe anything this rag says? Certainly not me, and I am a moderate.

    December 25, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. penguin

    What news does Lisa S listen two. She claims the GOP had offered tax hikes. NOT TRUE. The house republicans would not even bring up its own bill that would raise taxes only on those making over 1 million dollars. Obama has offered over a trillion in cuts that included cuts to future SS benefits. There is a spending problem- primarily in defense spending. We should go over the so called cliff and impose further cuts to defense as well as change the way the COLA is calculated. Taxes on unearned income should be progressive.

    December 25, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. NMRA123

    Stop the brinksmanship, and political maneuvering at the expense of the American public. Deficit needs to be managed by both increasing tax revenues and reducing spending. Agree to a starting point and tweak as you go along. Separate Social Security and Medicare from the budget by managed trusts. If their is a shortfall in either increase revenue or reduce benefits till its balanced. Defense spending needsclose scrutiny. We should not deny our servicemen and women the best equipment and care, but spending 3 – 4 times more than the next highest spending military power has to be examined. If we want this level of spending on defense then we all have to pay for it and tax rates will go up. If not then cut weapons programs (F35 etc) Reduce number of Carrier's on active duty, and close foreign military bases etc.

    December 25, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Mark Bunch

    This is all on the House of Reps now. Obama has tried to compromise in the past and the republicans act like little children. Now that they dad their asses handed to them in the election, it's time to play grown up and compromise.

    December 25, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. Asturiano

    Elections have consequences.... Republicans Lost!

    December 25, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. BonInConn

    I say go over the cliff – everyone pays more taxes, even some who pay none now and there will cuts in spending that no one seems to be able to achieve. The medicine may taste awful but it is needed.

    December 25, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. Free Man in the Republic of TEXAS


    ANOTHER: "You have to pass the bill to find out whats in it"
    Be still my heart !!!

    December 25, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. hammer

    We have to pass the bill before we know whats in it.Thats the Dem. way.Yes there wasn't enough Repu. votes to pass the bill but at least put a bill out for us to see.

    December 25, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Ed1

    Obama and his party wants someone to blame so let it go over.

    The Republicans were elected two years ago to stop the out of control spending and guess what they were elected again this year to do the same thing.

    Obama and his party has nobody to blame but their self period stop the overspending I guess the 49% don't want that.

    December 25, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Ed1


    If the country wanted jobs they would have elected Mitt but the don't.

    The country wants more government giveaways and more taxes on the people who provide jobs.

    Nothing but continued class warfare by Obama and the Democrats.

    December 25, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. kcl

    If you want to dance someone's got to pay the fiddler.

    December 25, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. JB

    Lets return to Clinton era tax rates AND spending levels (adjusted for inflation) starting January 1. Not a fan of Clinton or Reagan, but both were great compromises with opposite party. Obama needs to learn that compromise means that you meet in the middle somewhere, not throw down certain things as absolutes. He's the intransigent one in this whole thing. He's the over zealous ideologue.

    Boehner's should grow a pair and just walk away. Doubt he will, but would be nice to see!

    December 25, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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