Saturday, February 24, 2018

Analysis: Obama, Boehner seek cliff talks leverage

WASHINGTON — Negotiations between President Barack Obama and Republicans to save the economy from a plunge over the fiscal cliff are still in the throat-clearing stage. Serious bargaining is on hold while the two sides vie for political leverage.

Nothing is likely to become clear until far closer to the year-end deadline, when the lure of getting away for the holidays will sharpen the focus of negotiators.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, spoke about the stalemate Friday as Obama all but called Republicans heartless louts from a Charles Dickens story. Their failure to pass an extension of middle-class tax cuts would amount to a Christmas "lump of coal" for millions, Obama said in Hatfield, Pa. "That's a Scrooge Christmas," added the recently-re-elected president.

In the talks to date, Democrats have declined to identify a single spending cut they are willing to support, while Republicans avoid specifics on revenue increases they would swallow.

Once each side moves beyond opening gambits, Republicans will have to decide whether they are willing to raise income tax rates on upper incomes.

Democrats will decide how much savings to pull from benefit programs like Medicare, Medicaid and possibly Social Security without cutting guaranteed benefits.

Comments
Watford beats Everton 1-0, pulls clear of EPL drop zone

Watford beats Everton 1-0, pulls clear of EPL drop zone

Watford opened up a six-point gap to the English Premier League's relegation zone by beating Everton 1-0 thanks to Troy Deeney's late goal
Updated: 5 minutes ago

UN unanimously demands a 30-day cease-fire across Syria

UN Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution demanding a 30-day humanitarian cease-fire in Syria "without delay" to deliver humanitarian aid to millions and evacuate the critically ill and wounded.
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Trump says arming teachers in schools 'Up to States'

Trump says arming teachers in schools 'Up to States'

President Donald Trump says arming teachers as a deterrent against school shootings is "Up to States."
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Admirers line streets, overpasses to see Graham's motorcade

Admirers line streets, overpasses to see Graham's motorcade

Motorists pulled aside and well-wishers lined freeway overpasses to see the Rev. Billy Graham's motorcade barrel through his beloved home state of North Carolina on Saturday in a running tribute to "America's Pastor."
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Clark: Players still concerned about unsigned free agents

Clark: Players still concerned about unsigned free agents

Union leader Tony Clark says major league players remain concerned about the unusual amount of unsigned free agents with spring training nearing the end of its second week
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating allegations that multiple deputies failed to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after the shooting rampage there, adding to the mounting internal probes examin...
Updated: 9 minutes ago

Providence tops Georgetown for 8th straight time 74-69

Rodney Bullock had 19 points with five 3-pointers and Providence beat Georgetown for the eighth straight time, 74-69
Updated: 12 minutes ago

UN Security Council approves a resolution demanding a 30-day humanitarian cease-fire in Syria "without delay"

UN Security Council approves a resolution demanding a 30-day humanitarian cease-fire in Syria "without delay"
Updated: 14 minutes ago

The Latest: Tornado watch issued as severe weather threatens

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for parts of four states as potentially severe weather developed in the South and Plains states and flooding was reported in Indiana
Updated: 16 minutes ago

AP Top News at 2:16 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 2:16 p.m. EST
Updated: 18 minutes ago