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'Fiscal cliff' disputes remain as deadline nears


 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House and Senate Republicans sorted through stubborn disputes over taxing the wealthy and cutting the budget to pay for Democratic spending proposals as Monday's midnight deadline for an accord avoiding the "fiscal cliff" drew to within hours. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke repeatedly Sunday to Vice President Joe Biden, a former Senate colleague, in hopes of settling remaining differences and clinching a breakthrough that has evaded the two sides since President Barack Obama's November re-election. In one indication of the eleventh-hour activity, aides said the president, Biden and top administration bargainer Rob Nabors were all working late at the White House, and McConnell was making late night phone calls as well.Unless an agreement is reached and approved by Congress by the start of New Year's Day, more than $500 billion in 2013 tax increases will begin to take effect and $109 billion will be carved from defense and domestic programs. Read more



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