Posted: Dec 25, 2012 8:30 PM by Nancy Cordes
(CBS News) HAWAII - The country is one week away from the so-called "fiscal cliff."
The White House and Congressional leaders have seven days to reach a budget deal to avoid tax increases for nearly every American.
There are still have been no conversations between Democrats and Republicans Tuesday on how to avert the "fiscal cliff." That's a sure sign that Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is working on crafting legislation on his own, which he'd essentially dare Republicans in the House and Senate to pass just before the deadline.
That bill would likely extend the Bush-era tax cuts for households making less than $250,000 a year.
It may also include enough short-term spending cuts to temporarily offset, for about six to eight months, the indiscriminate, across-the-board spending cuts set to go into effect on January 1, 2013.
Reid's bill would also try to tie up some year-end loose ends by extending long-term unemployment benefits, patching the alternative minimum tax that hits so many middle class families, and preventing a big scheduled drop-off in Medicare reimbursement rates to doctors at the start of the year.
The president has been having a low-key vacation in Hawaii, but he could be heading back to Washington D.C as early as Wednesday to put pressure on Congress to pass that Democratic plan.
Republicans say they are withholding judgment until they see the legislation, but in the past, a handful of Senate Republicans have said they would be okay with letting the Bush-era tax rates last for people making over $250,000 a year if that was their only option.
The question is whether or not House Speaker John Boehner would allow a vote on this Democratic plan on the House floor knowing so many House Republicans oppose it.
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