Negotiators seek common ground on 'fiscal cliff' deal - FOX 10 News |

Negotiators seek common ground on 'fiscal cliff' deal

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By Steve Centanni, FOX News - Bio

WASHINGTON -- The edge of the fiscal cliff is looming larger as the clock ticks toward the deadline on January 1. Negotiators on both sides are trying to hammer out a deal over tax hikes and spending cuts, searching for common ground.

Now, amid all the back and forth, there are signs of compromise.

With just over three weeks remaining until automatic tax hikes and spending cuts kick in unless a budget deal is reached in Washington, there are some encouraging signs that the two parties are trying to compromise.

President Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday.  The White House says, quote, lines of communication remain open.

Senators Tom Cole of Oklahoma and Bob Corker of Tennessee want members of their party to concede some points to Democrats if a larger compromise can be struck.

"A lot of people are putting forth a theory and I actually think it has merit where you go ahead and give the president the 2 percent increase that he is talking about, the rate increase on the top 2 percent. And all of a sudden, the shift goes back to entitlements," said Corker.

President Obama's core demand -- putting the top marginal income rates back to Clinton-era levels of 36 percent and 39.6 percent -- after December 31.

House Speaker Boehner delivered a proposal that offered up to $800 billion in new revenue from closing loopholes and capping deductions for wealthier Americans.  Democrats insist the Speaker's plan doesn't cut it.

"If Speaker Boehner ends up where Senator Corker has just said he is, we will get a large agreement. And -- but, Speaker Boehner has not said that. And so, we Democrats realize that there have to be two sides to this bargain," said New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

Sunday's White House meeting marks the first time the Speaker has met privately with President Obama on his own, talking about the fiscal cliff, without any other Congressional leaders present.


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