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Dec 18, 2012

U.S. ‘fiscal cliff’ deal closer, but gaps remain

WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives
Speaker John Boehner emerged from a meeting with fellow
Republicans on Tuesday morning pledging to press forward on
talks to avert the “fiscal cliff,” as hope of a deal rose.

Boehner, the top Republican in the U.S. Congress, told
reporters that President Barack Obama’s most recent offer on
taxing the wealthy is “not there yet,” but he was hopeful of an
agreement.

Dec 18, 2012

In new “cliff” bid, Obama seeks $1.2 trillion in revenue: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In a major counteroffer that moves the White House and congressional Republicans closer to resolving the “fiscal cliff” standoff, President Barack Obama is now seeking $1.2 trillion from higher tax revenues, including increased rates on those earning more than $400,000 a year, a source familiar with the negotiations said on Monday.

In exchange, the president is willing to agree to $1.22 trillion in spending reductions, including some cuts achieved by changing the way cost of living adjustments are made to Social Security retirement benefits and other programs. By raising the threshold for tax increases to $400,000 from $250,000, the president is yielding on the level he had sought during his successful campaign for re-election in November

Dec 18, 2012

Hopes rise for “fiscal cliff” deal as Obama, Boehner meet

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The differences over how to resolve the “fiscal cliff” narrowed significantly Monday night as President Barack Obama made a counter-offer to Republicans that included a major change in position on tax hikes for the wealthy, according to a source familiar with the talks.

The move, which the source stressed was not Obama’s final offer, was welcomed, albeit with reservations, by a spokesman for Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, who met earlier in the day with Obama as the two hammered out a way to avert steep tax hikes and indiscriminate spending reductions set for the beginning of 2013.

Dec 17, 2012

Boehner opens door to tax hikes, shifts fiscal cliff talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The first real movement in the “fiscal cliff” talks began on Sunday, with Republican House Speaker John Boehner edging slightly closer to President Barack Obama’s key demands as they try to avert the steep tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect unless Congress intervenes by December 31.

But Boehner’s new positions, on tax rates and the total amount of new revenue to be included in a deficit-reduction deal, were still far from those held by Obama.

Dec 17, 2012

At memorial, Obama pledges effort to reduce gun violence

/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, speaking at a memorial service for the victims of a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, said on Sunday the United States was not doing enough to protect its children and pledged to launch an effort to reduce violence.

“We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them we must change,” Obama said at a somber interfaith service.

Dec 15, 2012

Tearful Obama calls for ‘meaningful action’ after school shooting

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Choking up and wiping away
tears, President Barack Obama said on Friday that “our hearts
are broken” for the victims of a deadly shooting rampage at a
Connecticut elementary school and called for “meaningful action”
to curb gun violence.

“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few
years,” Obama said during a somber televised appearance in the
White House briefing room just hours after one of the worst mass
shootings in U.S. history.

Dec 14, 2012

Tearful Obama calls for action after school shooting

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – A tearful President Barack
Obama expressed “overwhelming grief” on Friday for the victims
of a shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school and
called on Americans to set aside politics and take “meaningful
action” to prevent further tragedies of this kind.

“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few
years,” Obama said, his voice cracking with emotion at times
during a nationally televised appearance in the White House
briefing room just hours after one of the worst shooting
rampages in U.S. history.

Dec 13, 2012

Less grandeur, circumstance at Obama’s second inauguration

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s
second inauguration promises to be a more modest and less glitzy
affair than his first.

When Obama stands on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Jan.
21, the event will likely fail to match the grandeur and
enthusiasm of four years earlier when he was sworn in as the
nation’s first black president, in what was seen as a new
chapter after an era of unpopular wars and economic crisis.

Dec 8, 2012

Obama says he’s ready to work with Republicans to avoid “fiscal cliff”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, accused by Republican House Speaker John Boehner of pushing the country toward the “fiscal cliff,” said on Saturday he was ready to work with congressional Republicans on a comprehensive plan to cut budget deficits as long it included higher taxes on the wealthy.

Obama is battling Republican lawmakers over how to avoid the combination of sharp tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in early next year that could plunge the economy back into recession.

Dec 6, 2012

Obama, Boehner talk; Geithner prepared to go off ‘cliff’

WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Republicans in Congress and
President Barack Obama consumed much of Wednesday talking up
their positions on the “fiscal cliff” and though Obama and
Republican House Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone, neither
side offered any new compromises in public.

Nor was the phone call, a rarity, followed by any immediate
announcement of a face-to-face meeting that has been widely
anticipated all week and was explicitly requested early in the
day by House of Representatives Republican leader Eric Cantor.

    • About Mark

      "Mark Felsenthal is a Reuters White House correspondent who covered Barack Obama's re-election in 2012 and the fiscal crisis that immediately followed. Since joining Reuters in 2001, he has written about monetary policy, currency wars, and the housing market meltdown."
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