WH, Republicans reach deal on fiscal cliff

Updated: 2013-01-01 13:56


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WASHINGTON - The White House and Senate Republicans have reached a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," U.S. media reported Monday night.

A source was quoted as saying that the Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had signed off on the deal.

Report said the plan would include revenue increases and a two-month delay for the automatic spending cuts. It may extend unemployment insurance benefits for about 2 million Americans for one year.

A vote is possible in the Democrat-led Senate late Monday but the Republican-controlled House is not likely to hold a vote until Tuesday on legislation to avoid the "fiscal cliff," a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts which would begin to take effect on January 1.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden went to Capitol Hill Monday night to brief Senate Democrats on the details of the deal. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner have not shown their positions on the deal.

"Today it appears that an agreement to prevent this New Year's tax hike is within sight, but it is not done. There are still issues left to resolve, but we're hopeful that Congress can get it done," Obama said in early-afternoon remarks at the White House.

The deadline to prevent the "fiscal cliff" is technically midnight Monday, so the United States is on track to go over it at least temporarily as the House of Representatives push a vote into the new year.

Analysts say that with the financial market closed on Tuesday, the impact of going over the "fiscal cliff" for one day would be limited.

The fate of the plan, which presumably focuses more on tax revenues than spending cuts, is uncertain in the House.