Tuesday in politics: ‘Fiscal cliff’ proposal, gun violence news conference, and more

Phil Pruitt
December 18, 2012

A deal may be near on avoiding the 'fiscal cliff' — with an emphasis on may be.

President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner met on Monday, and Obama put a new offer on the table.

Obama's latest proposal, Yahoo News White House correspondent Olivier Knox reports, would let the payroll tax holiday lapse and extend unemployment benefits set to expire in two weeks. It also calls for raising $1.2 trillion in new tax revenues on individual income — down from $1.4 trillion in his previous proposal and $1.6 trillion from his opening gambit.

Most notably, the latest proposal drops the president's demand that Republicans agree to raising tax rates on income above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for families. Instead, it would make permanent Bush-era tax cuts on income up to $400,000 while raising them above that level.

Boehner's office rejected the proposal, which brings the two sides closer together, but committed to continue talking. There could be more movement on Tuesday.

The fiscal cliff is a combination of tax increases and deep spending cuts set to automatically go into effect Jan. 1. Economists have warned of dire consequences for the struggling recovery if a deal is not reached.

Also worth noting on Tuesday: The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence will hold a news conference on Capitol Hill with family members who have lost loved ones in mass shootings. It comes four days after the Friday shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., left 20 children and six adults dead.

Obama met Monday afternoon with Vice President Joe Biden and a handful of Cabinet members to begin discussions on how the country should respond to the Newtown shooting. Among those in attendance were Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

And then there is this: The Senate resumes debate on a $60.4 billion aid bill to rebuild communities devastated by Superstorm Sandy. Democrats want to pass the bill by week's end, but Republicans say the price tag is too high.

Sources: Yahoo! News' The Ticket, Associated Press, Reuters