Obama to make statement on fiscal cliff

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is expected to make a statement on fiscal cliff from White House at 1:30 p.m. EST.

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The contours of a deal to avert the `fiscal cliff' are emerging that would raise tax rates on couples making over $450,000 a year, raise the estate tax rate and extend unemployment benefits for one year.

That's according to officials familiar with the negotiations.

The deal in the works would return tax rates on families making over $450,000 to 39.6 percent. The tax on estates worth more than $5 million would increase to 40 percent. And unemployment benefits would continue for one year.

The officials say the White House and Republicans are at an impasse over what to do about automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to begin taking effect on Jan. 1. Democrats want to put off the cuts for one year.

The officials requested anonymity in order to discuss the internal negotiations.
 

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