The Straits Times
Published on Dec 31, 2012

No fiscal deal yet, US Congress leaders say


WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States (US) congressional leaders said on Sunday they remain deadlocked over some "pretty big issues" in their last-gasp bid to craft a year-end deal to stop the economy sliding off the so-called "fiscal cliff."

Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told a special Senate session that on Saturday night he had put forward his latest offer on a deal to prevent huge tax hikes and alleviate deep spending cuts due to kick in on Jan 1.

Having "yet to receive a response to our good faith offer" from the Senate Democratic majority, Mr McConnell said he had called Vice-President Joe Biden in an effort to "jump-start" negotiations.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid acknowledged that the talks remained at a standstill, raising the prospect that Americans will ring in the New Year with no deal to avert the fiscal cliff.