NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The clock is ticking in Washington. Lawmakers are running out of time to avert the “fiscal cliff.”
On Friday, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders met to try once again to reach a compromise, CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported.
“The American people are watching what we do here. Obviously, their patience is already thin,” Obama said at an evening news conference.
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The frustrated president was urging action as the deadline to avoid massive tax hikes gets dangerously close.
Talks reached a fever-pitch in Washington on Friday. Obama met inside the oval office with top Democratic leaders, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and leading Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“We had a constructive meeting today. Senators Reid and McConnell are discussing a potential agreement where we can get a bipartisan bill out of the Senate, over to the House and done in a timely fashion so that we’ve met the Dec. 31 deadline,” Obama said.
With the hours counting down, Reid and McConnell are set to work around the clock this weekend to strike a deal.
“We are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the White House, in the hopes that we can come forward as early as Sunday and have a recommendation,” Sen. McConnell said.
“We’re going to do the best we can for the caucuses that we have and the country that is waiting for us to make a decision,” Sen. Reid added.
If there’s no deal by Jan. 1, taxes will go up for 98 percent of Americans.
For families making between $50,000 and $75,000, they’ll pay $2,400 more. Those between $75,000 and $100,000 will see a $3,700 rise.
For those households making at least $150,000 there will be an increase of about $6,000.
“Well, we’re at the last minute. The American people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy, not right now,” the president said.
The hope is that Reid and McConnell will strike a deal, and the Senate will vote on it Sunday. It would then move on for a vote in the House. All of this is hoped for with that looming deadline at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday.
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