BOSTON (CBS) – President Barack Obama will meet with congressional leaders at the White House Friday as the deadline to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” draws closer.
“Sources tell me he is going to present a deal to them and then the Senate is going to try and act on it, this is assuming the Republicans agree to it,” Norah O’Donnell, the co-host of “CBS This Morning” told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Friday.
If they can’t reach a deal, automatic tax increases and massive spending cuts will begin January 1.
“Only five times since the 1930’s has Congress been called back after Christmas, usually they’re on break. So they failed to do their homework, up to this point. Today is a last ditch effort to get this whole thing done or we’re all going over the fiscal cliff,” O’Donnell said.
“Here’s what’s really interesting. The Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the leading Republican in the Senate, said the president called him on Wednesday night. That was the first time he’s heard from the president since Thanksgiving on this whole thing.”
“At the heart of this is really just a breakdown in trust where these people are not talking to one another, but today, they will try and get something done.”
Will there be a short-term deal to get country past the deadline?
“There will be probably some short-term fix and here’s what it will probably look like,” O’Donnell explained.
“It’s what the president has wanted from the beginning, which is an extension of the middle-class tax cuts, but it will probably go up to those making $400,000-$500,000 a year, (they) will not see their taxes go up. Everybody over that, the wealthiest Americans, will see their taxes increase.”
“Republicans will make sure though the estate taxes don’t go back to the Clinton-era levels. They’ll be some Republicans (who) want real spending cuts. We’ll see if the White House agrees to that. A fix on Medicare for doctors, lots of little things are in this.”
“But the really sad thing is by doing just a short-term fix is they’re not getting done what everybody wants, which is comprehensive tax reform, looking at our entitlements, which are the drivers of our debt and deficit. The really difficult choices that have to be made are being kicked down the road once again.”
O’Donnell will host “Face The Nation” this Sunday for Bob Schieffer. You can watch it live on WBZ-TV at 10:30 a.m.