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Saturday, December 29, 2012 - 12:22am
Today at the White House, President Obama met with House Speaker, John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, and the House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, among others, to try and negotiate a deal.
After the hour-long, closed door meeting, both Democrats and Republicans remained tight-lipped about the negotiations. President Obama described the discussions as "constructive."
Earlier in the day, Republicans blamed President Obama for the lack of progress on reaching an agreement.
"I agree that it is the President's responsibility to lay out a plan and to bring people together but it's a total dereliction of duty, and, candidly, a lack of courage to deal with these issues," said Republican Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee.
"I'm modestly optimistic that an agreement can be achieved. nobody is going to get a 100 percent of what they want. but let's make sure that middle-class families and the american economy, and in fact the world economy, aren't adversely impacted because people can't do their jobs," said the President.
So what happens to ordinary Americans if a deal can't be reached? Income and payroll taxes are set to expire on Monday, meaning taxes would go up for almost everyone next week. One hundred and ten billion dollars in spending cuts will kick in, and two million jobless Americans will lose their unemployment benefits.
Also part of the fiscal cliff negotiations is the extension of a farm bill that will prevent milk prices from doubling in the New Year, if it is passed before the December 31st deadline.