Obama breaks off vacation to deal with fiscal cliff

With President Barack Obama heading back to Washington, US lawmakers were under increased pressure Wednesday to hammer out an 11th-hour deal that prevents taxes from rising for all Americans.

The president cut short his Christmas vacation in Hawaii and was set to fly back to the US capital late Wednesday, five days after calling on Congress to end their bitter deadlock over how to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff."

But members of the US House and Senate -- not to mention the White House -- have shown no outward signs of narrowing their differences over how to avoid looming tax hikes for all Americans and deep, mandated spending cuts that kick in from January 1 if Congress does not act.

"I don't yet know what Senator Reid has planned," Don Stewart, deputy chief of staff to Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said Wednesday, referring to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"The White House hasn't reached out to us, nor have Senate Dems. They seem to be working on this on their own," Stewart told AFP.

After Democrats and Republicans traded blame last week over the failure to reach a deal before the holidays, House Republicans led by Speaker John Boehner punted to the Democratically-led Senate, asking Obama and Reid to write up legislation that can pass both houses.

Senators and representatives are expected back in Washington on Thursday, giving them less than a week to work out a deal that avoids the fiscal cliff, which economists say could send the US economy tumbling back into recession.

With the deadline rapidly approaching, Obama pared back his hopes for a year-end grand bargain that addresses taxes as well as substantial spending cuts as part of a 10-year deficit-cutting bill, saying Congress should at least work out a stop-gap measure to protect middle-class taxpayers.

Obama successfully campaigned for re-election on his support for an extension of the Bush-era tax breaks to 98 percent of Americans -- those in households earning up to $250,000 a year.

In talks with Boehner on a larger compromise, the president had offered to raise that threshold to $400,000.

But with Republicans in the majority in the House of Representatives, even if all 192 Democrats in the chamber voted for an Obama-backed plan, it would still need support from at least two dozen Republicans.

Most Republicans in Congress have signed a no-new-taxes pledge, however, and it remained unclear just how many would violate that oath in order to strike a deal.

Staunch conservatives last week revolted against Boehner's surprise bid to ram through an alternative proposal which aimed to prevent a 2013 tax hike on anyone making under $1 million per year.

Democrats have insisted that any deal that passes Congress must have support from both parties.

Boehner "should bring a bipartisan bill to the floor and let the House work its will," Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, told Bloomberg TV on Friday.

"This House will say yes to a bipartisan bill."

Obama appeared keen for congressional leaders to produce a package that at a minimum prevents a tax hike on the middle class, extends unemployment insurance and lays the groundwork for further deficit reduction next year.

But Republicans could balk at voting on such a plan until after January 1.

Going over the cliff would force all tax rates to rise. Instead of actively voting to hike rates on the wealthy, Republicans could then turn around and vote on a bill that reduces middle-class taxes to their pre-2013 rate.

The fiscal cliff is the result of a poison pill agreement reached last year that would require major spending reductions as tax cuts passed under former president George W. Bush expire at the end of the year -- should Democrats and Republicans fail to reach a deal to cut the deficit.

The White House has offered a deal with $1.2 trillion in revenues -- by fulfilling an Obama campaign promise to allow the tax cuts to expire for the wealthy -- and nearly $1 trillion in spending cuts.

--

Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.
Loading...
  • VW's Skoda to ponder U.S. production amid market push Reuters - 7 minutes ago

    Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) Czech division Skoda said it will assess the possibility of building cars in the United States as it considers selling in the world's second largest auto market where its parent continues to grapple with an emissions … More »

  • Bunker-busting bombs close Aleppo underground schools: charity
    Bunker-busting bombs close Aleppo underground schools: charity AFP News - 33 minutes ago

    Bunker-busting bombs are putting children in so much danger in Syria's Aleppo that they won't even be able to return to underground schools when classes resume this weekend, a charity said Friday. The "ferocious assault" on Aleppo could deprive … More »

  • Most Asian Index Futures Drop Amid Bank Rout; Oil, Copper Swing Bloomberg - 40 minutes ago

    Shares in New Zealand fell early Friday with U.S. index futures, as contracts on equity gauges in Japan, Australia and South Korea foreshadowed losses. Financial stocks drove the S&P 500 Index lower last session amid concern over Deutsche Bank AG … More »

  • Elliott Management takes 8.1 percent stake in Mentor Graphics Reuters - 52 minutes ago

    (Reuters) - Activist hedge fund Elliott Management said it picked up an 8.1 percent stake in electronics hardware supplier Mentor Graphics Corp (MENT.O), a few months after Carl Icahn exited the company. ... … More »

  • Obama, Merkel condemn 'barbarous' Russian, Syrian strikes on Aleppo
    Obama, Merkel condemn 'barbarous' Russian, Syrian strikes on Aleppo AFP News - 1 hour 0 minutes ago

    US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned what they called "barbarous" Russian and Syrian regime airstrikes on Aleppo during a phone call Thursday, the White House said. The Syrian government and its ally Russia "bear … More »

  • Deutsche Bank shares sink 7% as hedge funds pull money out AFP - 1 hour 18 minutes ago

    Deutsche Bank shares sank seven percent Thursday after news that a number of hedge funds had pulled money out of the German giant amid worries over its financial strength. The move to sell off the German ... … More »

  • Signoff creates savings funds for private California workers
    Signoff creates savings funds for private California workers Associated Press - 1 hour 21 minutes ago

    Nearly 7 million California workers will be automatically enrolled in a retirement savings account under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed Thursday in an attempt to address growing fears that many workers ... … More »

  • Saudi warns of 'disastrous consequences' over US 9/11 law
    Saudi warns of 'disastrous consequences' over US 9/11 law AFP News - 1 hour 25 minutes ago

    Saudi Arabia on Thursday warned of "disastrous consequences" from a United States law allowing 9/11 victims to sue the kingdom, in a major spike in tension between the longstanding allies. The warning came after the US Congress voted overwhelmingly … More »

  • ECB's Nowotny says Europe not facing new banking crisis
    ECB's Nowotny says Europe not facing new banking crisis Reuters - 1 hour 26 minutes ago

    European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said on Thursday he did not believe that Europe faced a new banking crisis similar to that seen in 2007 and 2008, but the financial sector was clearly in a transitional phase. During the … More »

  • Airbus Group to merge with its jetmaking unit - sources
    Airbus Group to merge with its jetmaking unit - sources Reuters - 1 hour 27 minutes ago

    Airbus Group SAS is likely to merge with its main planemaking unit, Airbus SAS, as part of a corporate restructuring being finalised on Thursday, people familiar with the matter said. A spokesman for Airbus Group (AIR.PA) declined to comment. The … More »

  • Business Highlights Associated Press - 1 hour 28 minutes ago

    ___ House lawmakers heap blistering criticism on Wells Fargo CEO Angry lawmakers heaped another round of blistering criticism on Wells Fargo's CEO, pressing Thursday for details about what senior managers ... … More »

  • The real reason Salesforce is complaining to regulators about the Microsoft-Linkedin deal
    The real reason Salesforce is complaining to regulators about the Microsoft-Linkedin deal Business Insider - 1 hour 33 minutes ago

    Salesforce Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Salesforce lost its … Continued The post The real reason Salesforce is complaining to regulators about the Microsoft-Linkedin deal appeared first on Business Insider. … More »

  • US hedge fund to pay $400 million in African bribery case Associated Press - 1 hour 35 minutes ago

    A major Wall Street hedge fund has agreed to pay more than $400 million to settle charges accusing it of using a web of brazen middlemen to pay bribes to African officials, authorities said Thursday. The ... … More »

  • Dollar's movements split on forex markets AFP - 1 hour 36 minutes ago

    The dollar fell slightly against the euro on currency markets on Thursday but gained against the yen and the pound. Analysts pointed to rising crude prices but falling stock markets as countervailing pressures ... … More »

  • Xi’s $420 Billion China Rail Push Lures First Private Investment Bloomberg - 1 hour 49 minutes ago

    Shanghai Fosun High Technology Co. signed an agreement with the provincial government of Zhejiang in eastern China to buy a controlling stake in a 46.2 billion yuan ($6.9 billion) high-speed project linking the cities of Hangzhou and Taizhou, the … More »

  • Vietnam Sugar Producer Plans $600 Million Singapore Listing Bloomberg - 1 hour 49 minutes ago

    Ahead of the planned share sale, the group’s Thanh Thanh Cong Tay Ninh SC or TTC Sugar, will merge with another sugar company to create a combined entity worth $200 million and Vietnam’s largest sugar company, group officials said in an interview. … More »

  • Deutsche Bank worries hit US stocks
    Deutsche Bank worries hit US stocks AFP News - 1 hour 50 minutes ago

    US stocks tumbled Thursday after a report on withdrawals from Deutsche Bank revived worries about the health of one of the world's largest banks. News of the withdrawals sent a shudder through Wall Street, where trade had been muted earlier in the … More »

  • Senator: Education Dept. mishandling Corinthian student debt
    Senator: Education Dept. mishandling Corinthian student debt Associated Press - 2 hours 3 minutes ago

    The Education Department is pursuing debt collection — rather than debt relief — for nearly 80,000 former students of Corinthian Colleges, despite federal and state findings that the now-defunct for-profit ... … More »

  • 3Q Fund Review: A welcome return to strong, steady returns Associated Press - 2 hours 9 minutes ago

    It was a good summer for fund investors, as calm and strong markets around the world lifted most categories to gains from July into September. The third quarter's smooth ascent was a turnaround from the ... … More »

  • AP Explains: What does OPEC's tentative deal mean for oil?
    AP Explains: What does OPEC's tentative deal mean for oil? Associated Press - 2 hours 15 minutes ago

    OPEC nations have agreed in theory that they need to reduce their production to help boost global oil prices during a meeting in Algeria, but a major disagreement between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and ... … More »

  • MSCI Still Monitoring China A Shares After ‘Positive’ Signs Bloomberg - 2 hours 23 minutes ago

    MSCI said it has seen a “marginal” drop in the number of suspended mainland shares after Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges released stock suspension rules in late May. The announcement comes after MSCI in June cited accessibility issues among the … More »

  • Oil rises close to $50/bbl; doubts on OPEC plan cap gains
    Oil rises close to $50/bbl; doubts on OPEC plan cap gains Reuters - 2 hours 28 minutes ago

    Oil jumped more than 1 percent on Thursday, with Brent nearing $50 a barrel on optimism over OPEC's first planned output cut in eight years, although gains were limited by doubts the reduction would make a substantial dent in the global crude glut. … More »

  • Oil rises close to $50/barrel; doubts on OPEC plan cap gains
    Oil rises close to $50/barrel; doubts on OPEC plan cap gains Reuters - 2 hours 30 minutes ago

    Oil jumped more than 1 percent on Thursday, with Brent nearing $50 (39 pounds) a barrel on optimism over OPEC's first planned output cut in eight years, although gains were limited by doubts the reduction would make a substantial dent in the global … More »

  • Stocks Fall as Deutsche Bank Woes Roil Lenders; Treasuries Climb Bloomberg - 2 hours 32 minutes ago

    Equities erased gains after Bloomberg News reported about 10 hedge funds that do business with the German lender have moved to reduce their financial exposure. Traders pushed down the value of equities after the report on Deutsche Bank rekindled … More »

  • ECB's Lautenschlaeger says bank needs to craft exit from stimulus  Reuters - 2 hours 33 minutes ago

    FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank should not provide further stimulus, including through stock or bond purchases, but needs to carefully craft its exit from asset buys to avoid turbulence, ... … More »

 
Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
 
Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.16+0.01+5.96%
    N21.SI
    0.112+0.003+2.75%
    40E.SI
    0.285+0.010+3.64%
    5ME.SI
    0.13+0.01+6.56%
    A50.SI
    0.107+0.002+1.90%
    40F.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.13+0.02+16.07%
    BEH.SI
    0.119+0.015+14.42%
    A7S.SI
    0.34+0.04+13.33%
    AYV.SI
    0.395+0.045+12.86%
    BQF.SI
    0.182+0.020+12.35%
    BGO.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.154-0.013-7.78%
    5WJ.SI
    0.16-0.01-5.88%
    5G1.SI
    0.185-0.011-5.61%
    B7K.SI
    0.100.00-4.76%
    42D.SI
    0.142-0.007-4.70%
    5AM.SI

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.3648+0.0008+0.06%
    USDSGD=X
    1.5308+0.0008+0.05%
    EURSGD=X
    1.7686+0.0005+0.03%
    GBPSGD=X
    74.1550+0.084+0.11%
    SGDJPY=X
    5.6811-0.0029-0.05%
    SGDHKD=X
    3.0216-0.0013-0.04%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,538.3789-4.334-0.05%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.8834-0.0036-0.07%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.0410+0.0001+0.01%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,325.20-0.80-0.06%
    GCZ16.CMX
    19.16-0.03-0.17%
    SIZ16.CMX
    95.01-0.66-0.69%
    ^XAU
    2.190.00-0.14%
    HGZ16.CMX
    43.85+0.41+0.94%
    CLV16.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.12-0.01
    ^FVX
    1.56-0.01
    ^TNX
    2.28-0.01
    ^TYX