A senior Republican Senate aide passes along the tax terms of the deal being worked out by Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill and the White House to avert the "fiscal cliff." These terms are "locked," says the source, between Senate Republicans and the White House:
Harry Reid, on the Senate floor, said that he just spoke with President Barack Obama, but that they do not have a "counteroffer to make" to Republicans:
"We did have conversations last night that ended late in the evening between staffs, this morning we've been trying to come up with some counteroffer to my friends' proposals," said Reid, saying he's had a number" of conversations with the president. "I don't have a counteroffer to make."
President Barack Obama issued an executive order to end the pay freeze on federal employees, in effect giving some federal workers a raise. One federal worker now to receive a pay increase is Vice President Joe Biden.
According to disclosure forms, Biden made a cool $225,521 last year. After the pay increase, he'll now make $231,900 per year.
The Treasury Department is telling its staff not to worry about the "fiscal cliff," an internal memorandum sent to all employees reveals. The memo, which is signed by the deputy secretary of the treasury, Neal S. Wolin, states that "there is no reason why both sides should not be able to come together" to reach a deal.
Spending will increase 55 percent over the next decade, if President Barack Obama's budget plan goes into effect. The finding comes from the Republican-side of the Senate Budget Committee, which notes that Obama's "Proposal Would Spend $880 Billion Over Already Projected Increases."
CNN reports, "US President Barack Obama offered to back away from his position that tax hikes should begin at $250,000 in annual income, delivering a fresh concession to congressional Republicans as talks to avert the fiscal cliff intensified in Washington."