President Obama said Monday that an agreement to avoid the worst effects of the year-end fiscal cliff is “within sight,” but he stressed repeatedly that a deal being negotiated by Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is “not done” yet, and he called on lawmakers to remain focused on the needs of the American people rather than politics.
In what the White House billed as an event with middle-class Americans, Obama said there were “still issues to resolve” in the talks. He said he was “hopeful that Congress can get it done. But it’s not done.”
Obama said the potential agreement would prevent federal income taxes from rising on middle-class families, extend tax credits for children and college tuition, provide tax breaks to clean-energy companies and extend unemployment insurance for 2 million Americans.
He said he would have preferred to “solve all of these problems in the context of a larger agreement,” the so-called grand bargain, that would have dealt with spending in a “balanced” way.
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