US President Barack Obama has cut short his holiday in Hawaii and returned to Washington to try to persuade Congress to reach an agreement avoiding the “fiscal cliff.”
The term refers to a series of tax hikes and spending cuts that will be implemented automatically if a deal cannot be reached by Monday.
Hours before Obama’s return the atmosphere around the talks remained confrontational:
“The Republicans in the House have left town. The negotiations between the President and the Speaker have fallen apart as they have for the last three-and-a-half years.
“We’ve tried mightily to get something done,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of the Democratic Party.
But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Republicans have been doing all they can to reach a deal:
“Last night I told the President we’d be happy to look at whatever he proposes. But the truth is we’re coming up against a hard deadline here and as I said, this is a conversation we should have had months ago.
“The Republicans aren’t about to write a blank cheque for anything the Senate Democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff.”
The fiscal cliff could send the still-fragile US hurtling back into recession.
Consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level since August and stocks have been tumbling on Wall Street.
A no deal will result in around 405 billion euros (536 billion dollars) of tax increases which would affect nearly all Americans.
The military and other federal departments would also have to absorb around 83 billion euros (110 billion dollars) in spending cuts.
If the negotiations pass the January 1 deadline it does not necessarily mean that the tax increases and spending cuts would become permanent however, as the new congress which begins its work next month could cancel them retrospectively.
- 1Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin | euronews, world news
- 2Chomsky says US is world’s biggest terrorist | euronews, the global conversation
- 3euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 4Nepal: ‘equally big earthquakes coming in eastern regions,’ expert tells euronews | euronews, world news
- 5It’s a girl: Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge gives birth in London | euronews, world news
- 6How Nepal earthquake devastated Kathmandu’s UNESCO heritage | euronews, world news
- 7Chernobyl Children: what makes Ukrainians born in 1986 different? | euronews, world news
- 8Juncker to Hungarian PM Orban: “Hello, Dictator!”
- 9International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 10Exclusive: unrest in FYR Macedonia could hit other Balkan countries warns Serbian PM | euronews, world news
- 11Evidence of ancient wine found in Georgia a vintage quaffed some 6,000 years BC
- 12International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 13Andrea Ferrari: the graphene guru | euronews, science
- 14Portuguese language reform law goes global | euronews, world news
- 15EU membership remains Serbia’s priority, says PM Aleksandar Vucic | euronews, the global conversation
- 16Watch: France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen clashes with UKIP MEP Woolfe | euronews, world news
- 17Spain: the viral soldiers fighting in Madrid and Barcelona mayoral races | euronews, world news
- 18eurovibes - a selection of Europe’s best music talent
- 19How young translators are helping knit European culture together | euronews, generation y
- 20We will not be moved! China’s urban spread resistance [PHOTOS]
Wires > News
- 00:35 CET Polish president concedes election defeat to conservative…
- 00:24 CET Indonesia’s military creeps back into civilian affairs
- 23:20 CET Libyan government warplanes attack oil tanker docked at Sirte
- 21:11 CET Greece hasn’t got the money to make June IMF repayment – interior…
- 20:54 CET Syria says Islamic State kills hundreds, including children, in…
- 20:27 CET John Nash, mathematician who inspired ‘A Beautiful Mind’, killed…
- 18:50 CET Ex-advisor to Peruvian president disappears in Bolivia
- 17:26 CET Magnitude 5.7 quake strikes north of Tonga – USGS