WASHINGTON: Democrat and Republican lawmakers mulled their next move Saturday after leaving Washington for the Christmas holidays without an agreement on averting a year-end fiscal crisis that could lead to stiff tax hikes and drastic budget cuts. Earlier, US President Barack Obama urged lawmakers to pass a scaled-down tax package to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Obama said he still wanted a comprehensive and large deficit-cutting bill to put the US economy on the path to long-term prosperity, but that effort stalled when talks broke down between the White House and House Republicans this week. Obama asked Congress to next week produce a package that at a minimum prevents a tax hike on the middle class, would extend unemployment insurance and lays the groundwork for further deficit reduction next year.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2012.