Senators Give Suggestions to Prevent Fiscal Cliff
Senate negotiators worked overtime Saturday in order to come up with a plan that will avert the fiscal cliff. They have struggled to find solutions for major issues regarding how the rich should be taxed and how to tackle inherited estates.
The deadline draws near and the halls of the Capitol remained silent. The House and the Senate were closed until Sunday afternoon in order to avoid distractions as talks continue over how to avoid tax increases for most Americans.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid monitored the progress by telephone. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell arrived at the Capitol to supervise the talks in person. McConnell hopes that Senate can come up with the deal soon. Democratic and Republican aides continued passing proposals back and forth.
Both parties are tackling the extension of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for most taxpayers but increase the rates on the top earners. It would also extend the unemployment benefits that are set to expire in January for 2 million people and stop around 30 million Americans from having to pay the alternative minimum tax for the first time.
McConnell left the Capitol just before 7 p.m. and stated that both parties have been in discussions all throughout the day. He added that the talks would continue into the evening. Both Reid and McConnell set a deadline of 3 p.m. on Sunday to come out with a deal. Then they will convene caucus meetings in separate rooms. Leaders will brief their respective members on the progress of the talks and determine whether there is enough support to go ahead with a proposal.
If things go well, the leaders would roll out the legislation Sunday night and hold a vote by noon Monday. This would give the House the rest of New Year’s Eve to consider the proposal.