The latest on the fiscal cliff

For those of you in business who are following the negotiations on the fiscal cliff, here is an update from our friends at NADO (the National Association of Development Organizations, of which the NCWEDD is a member):

As of 5:55 p.m. EST today, progress has been made on an agreement to avoid the tax portion of the fiscal cliff. Senate leaders and the White House have been working on a last ditch fiscal cliff deal, which includes a tax rate increase for families who earn more than $450,000 and individuals who make more than $400,000 a year. No immediate time table has been announced on when the Senate would vote on the agreement, which would then go to the House for a vote. The House is not scheduled to vote on any fiscal cliff package tonight, so the United States is likely to go over the fiscal cliff, but maybe only for a day or two if the White House and Senate leaders can win enough support for their agreement announced today.

However, there has been no agreement over delaying  the sequester, which are the $110 billion in automatic FY2013 spending cuts to federal agencies scheduled to begin on January 2. If no deal is passed by midnight, the laws that will expire include the temporary payroll tax cuts, the end of certain tax breaks for businesses, shifts in the alternative minimum tax, and the end of the Bush era tax cuts from 2001-2003. Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill are optimistic that a fiscal cliff deal can be reached and passed later this week along with a possible farm bill extension, which expired on September 30.