Frustrations build as fiscal cliff stalls once again

    11:45 AM, Dec 13, 2012   |    comments
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    WASHINGTON (CBS) -- Fiscal cliff negotiations between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner appear to be at a standstill. The leaders did not speak yesterday and no meetings are scheduled for today.

    CBS News has learned lawmakers are receiving orders today to cut their own budgets 11 percent. It's Congress's first encounter with the consequences of going over the fiscal cliff. Without a compromise, across the board spending cuts will kick in and taxes for all Americans will go up on January 1st.

    With little progress being reported, frustration is mounting on Capitol Hill. Rep. Nancy Pelosi says, "If we don't act the economy will go over the cliff, not just our budget process, the economy will go over the cliff."

    The sticking points remain the same: The president wants higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans, Republicans are insisting on deeper spending cuts. Rep. John Boehner says, "Republicans want to solve the problem and get this spending line down. The president wants to pretend spending isn't the problem. That's why we don't have an agreement."

    The stalemate between the White House and Capitol Hill isn't just frustrating lawmakers. Many taxpayers are discouraged their elected leadership is not getting the job done. Catholics United executive director James Salt says, "Now is not the time to hold budget negotiations hostage, when so many Americans are uncertain about their financial security."

    Polls show the majority of Americans, including many Republicans, would support higher taxes for households making more than $250,000 per year.

    In an interview on CBS This Morning Sen. DeMint said he expects the president will eventually get his tax increase, but he is concerned the new healthcare law will raise taxes on all Americans.

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