Congress tacks toward partial fix of fiscal cliff

AP file photo

Lawmakers suggest a partial fix, not a sweeping deal, is likely to address expiring tax cuts and automatic budget cuts--the so-called fiscal cliff, National Journal Daily reports.

Billy House and Dan Friedman explain.

Leading lawmakers have no intention of letting the sequester happen or all of the tax cuts expire. Nor will Congress vote to punt those events entirely, even for a few months, congressional aides said. Instead, congressional leaders are discussing a plan to make a down payment of targeted cuts worth about half of the $110 billion in sequestration cuts set to hit in January, while establishing a framework for additional cuts.

Ideas of Congress taking bold legislative steps during the postelection lame-duck session have given way to talk of temporary fixes and handing over these longer-term policy implications to the next Congress.

"It will be very difficult to put together a comprehensive plan in just six weeks," House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said in an interview. "Everyone's going to have to scramble" to find resolution, Van Hollen said.

National Journal subscribers can read more here.

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