WASHINGTON — Three hours shy of the midnight deadline, the White House and congressional leaders reached a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, several sources confirmed to The Huffington Post.
Under the deal brokered by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Congress would extend the Bush income tax cuts below the $ 450,000 threshold, keep the estate tax threshold at $ 5 million and extend unemployment benefits. It would also temporarily delay the sequester — i.e., billions of dollars in across-the-board spending cuts — for another two months.
The deal still requires buy-in from members of both parties, and Biden was set to meet with Senate Democrats Monday night to try to sell them on the package. That could prove challenging given that key progressive groups, including the AFL-CIO, made it clear earlier Monday that they would oppose any deal that raised the income limit for extending the Bush tax cuts above $ 250,000.
Still, both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave the deal their blessing Monday night in a phone call with President Barack Obama, sources confirmed.
A Pelosi aide suggested that while the House Democratic leader backs the proposal on the table, she isn’t completely wedded to it.
“She’s been supportive all along,” said the aide. “Though if House Dems have serious problems, that could move her.”
This story is developing. More details will be provided as they become available.
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