Republicans ease on tax as US budget talks resume
WASHINGTON (AFP) - As Congress prepared to dive back into "fiscal cliff" talks on Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, there were encouraging signs that Republican intransigence on tax could be easing.
For the second time in days, a leading Republican, this time Senator Lindsey Graham, edged toward violating something that had been sacrosanct - a longstanding pledge signed by many in his party never to raise taxes.
Strings were attached - concessions by Democrats on social welfare programmes like health care for the elderly. But his change of heart was a hopeful sign that the Republican leadership is ready to make tough choices in order to strike a deal.
Both Republicans and Democrats are well aware of the need for the country to get its fiscal house in order, as America tries to rein in a huge debt that has been growing bigger by the day and reduce deficit spending.