Posted: 6:34 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7, 2012
By David Lightman
— At House Speaker John Boehner’s request, Senate leaders and Rep. Nancy Pelosi have been excluded from talks to avert a fiscal crisis, leaving it to Boehner and President Barack Obama alone to find a deal, congressional aides say. All sides, even the parties excluded, say clearing the negotiating room improves the chance of success.
— Obama on Thursday went to the home of a middle-income family in the Virginia suburbs of Washington to press for an extension of expiring middle-class tax cuts — and for the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts on incomes over $250,000. “Just to be clear, I’m not going to sign any package that somehow prevents the top rate from going up for folks at the top 2 percent,” Obama said.”But I do remain optimistic that we can get something done.”