Sunday, December 30, 2012

Talks on Fiscal Crisis Face Setback That Threatens Deal


Negotiations to reach a last-ditch agreement to head off large tax increases and sweeping spending cuts in the new year broke down, at least temporarily, on Sunday after Republicans requested that any deal include a new way of calculating inflation that would lower payments to beneficiaries programs like Social Security and slow their growth.
A Senate Democratic aide with knowledge of the talks cautioned that they could restart. And Republican officials hinted that the Republican position is not set in stone. But for now, the Democratic aide said, talks have stopped.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, went to the Senate floor a little to say that Republicans had made their last offer at 7:10 the night before and had yet to receive a reply.
“I’m concerned about the lack of urgency. I think we all know we’re running out of time,” he said.
To that, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate majority leader, declared, “at this stage, we’re not able to make a counter offer.”


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