The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Jan 01, 2013
 

US 'fiscal cliff' tumble looms despite Senate efforts

 
 

(REUTERS) - THE United States looked on track to tumble over the "fiscal cliff" at midnight on Monday, at least for a day, as lawmakers remained reluctant to back last-minute efforts by Senate leaders to avert severe tax increases and spending cuts.

The US House of Representatives might not vote on any "fiscal cliff" plan before midnight, possibly pushing a legislative decision into New Year's Day, when financial markets will be closed, said a Republican aide.

The Senate plan was heavy on tax increases and light on spending cuts, raising concerns that it would repel rank-and-file lawmakers, particularly in the Republican-controlled House.

As Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden kept working on unresolved parts of the deal, there was deep discontent among Senate Democrats.