The outlook for a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" by Christmas is increasingly grim, though lawmakers and the White House still have hope for a deficit-reduction compromise by the end of the year.
Republicans will move forward tonight with a vote to pass House Speaker John Boehner's so-called "Plan B option" – an extension of current tax rates for Americans making up to $1 million a year while replacing some pending automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs with other measures.
The step seeks to show Republicans acting to avoid an income tax hike on 99 percent of Americans in 2013, and leverage new pressure on President Obama in the ongoing talks for a broader "cliff" deal.
Obama has threatened to veto the legislation, calling it counterproductive and the cuts burdensome for the middle class. If the Senate were to consider the bill to stave off a looming tax hike, Democrats would surely amend it to enact more amicable terms.
Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/boehner-vote-plan-riles-fiscal-cliff-talks-obama/story?id=18026638