Republican Senator says chances very good for limited 'fiscal cliff' deal

WASHINGTON Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:58pm IST

The U.S. Capitol building is pictured as lawmakers return from the Christmas recess in Washington December 27, 2012. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

The U.S. Capitol building is pictured as lawmakers return from the Christmas recess in Washington December 27, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mary F. Calvert

Related Topics

Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday that chances for a limited "fiscal cliff" deal in the next 48 hours were "exceedingly good," as talks to avoid tax increases and spending cuts on New Year's Day went down to the wire.

"I think people don't want to go over the cliff if we can avoid it," Graham, a leading conservative, said on Fox News Sunday.

He predicted that Republicans in Congress were going to accept some form of tax increases for wealthier Americans and this would hand a victory to President Barack Obama, although a leading Democrat warned of a big gap in talks between the parties.

Obama was "going to get tax-rate increases" on upper income Americans in the talks as he wants, Graham said.

The leading Senators from both parties are working on a stopgap fiscal cliff deal to avoid taxes increasing for almost all Americans on New Year's Day. They would probably leave the details of some other thorny fiscal issues, like government spending cuts, until January.

Graham urged Republicans to make a stand later when the time comes for Congress to decide on raising the debt ceiling.

"This deal won't affect the debt situation, it will be a political victory for the president and I hope we'll have the courage of our convictions when it comes time to raise the debt ceiling to fight for what we believe as Republicans, but hats off to the president, he won," Graham said.

Lawmakers are seeking a last-minute deal that would set aside $600 billion in tax increases and across-the-board government spending cuts that are set to start within days. If Congress does not act, the measures would likely push the United States into a recession.

Senator Richard Durbin, a member of the Democratic leadership, told the "Face the Nation" show on CBS that there was still a "chasm" between the two parties in fiscal cliff negotiations, but anything was possible when Congress faced a deadline.

Graham said that if the Senate was unable to come up with the votes, it would be more difficult for any deal to get through the House of Representatives.

"And I want to vote for it, even though I won't like it ... because the country has got a lot at stake here," he said. (Reporting By Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

E-Commerce Boom

E-Commerce Boom

Online grocers come up trumps in India's e-commerce boom   Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

GDP growth to slow to 5.1 pct, but no rate cut yet  Full Article 

Oil Prices Fall

Oil Prices Fall

Oil at four-year low as OPEC production cut looks unlikely  Full Article 

Hughes Dies

Hughes Dies

Australia batsman Hughes passes away aged 25  Full Article 

Jamini Roy

Jamini Roy

Photo Gallery – Bengali household name Jamini Roy’s paintings  Full Article 

Google in Europe

Google in Europe

Insight - Behind Google's Europe woes, American accents  Full Article 

India-focused Funds

India-focused Funds

India-focused hedge funds up over 40 pct YTD - HFR  Full Article 

Trade Deal

Trade Deal

WTO postpones trade deal by a day after last-minute objection.  Full Article 

Land Disputes

Land Disputes

Disputes over land for industry on the rise in India, angering locals - charities  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage