Obama Cutting Short Hawaii Vacation to Seek Fiscal Cliff Deal

John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

President Barack Obama is cutting short his vacation in Hawaii to try and get a fiscal cliff deal. The lingering question is: can he do anything to budge the Republican House? The New York Times:

President Obama is planning to cut his Christmas vacation short and return to Washington to make a last-ditch push for a compromise on a tax and spending dispute that remains stubbornly unresolved.

The White House said Tuesday that the president would leave Wednesday night. His family, however, will stay behind in Hawaii.

Meanwhile, both chambers of Congress will come back from their holiday hiatus on Thursday and return to work. While there are growing signs that some members of both parties are prepared to accept a deal that raises taxes on people at the highest income levels, there is considerable distance between Republicans and Democrats and no guarantee that an agreement could pass.

The president and Congress left Washington late last week after House Republicans rejected a plan that would have left tax rates in place for all but those with incomes above $1 million.

Mr. Obama has since called for a less ambitious approach to avoid the “fiscal cliff” on Jan. 1, when a series of automatic budget cuts and tax increases will go into effect if Congress and the White House cannot come up with another course of action.

The White House has been seeking a resolution through talks with Senate Democrats, who control the chamber and have gained the tacit support of some Republican colleagues.

But the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has given no indication that his members would not seek to block a deal that includes tax increases

The main obstacle remains the Republican-led House, where a bloc of conservatives has ruled out any tax increases whatsoever.

But as Mark McKinnon notes HERE there is a bigger obstacle than just the House.

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