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President Barack Obama said that an agreement to prevent automatic tax hikes from taking effect is within sight but not yet complete.
As of Monday afternoon, there appeared to be significant movement toward a solution to stave off the fiscal cliff before it can inflict damage on the economy.
"Today, it appears that an agreement to prevent this New Year's tax hike is within sight," the president said at the White House. "But it's not done."
Senate Republican sources say they had reached an agreement with the administration on income tax levels. Tax rates will be allowed to rise on individual income over $400,000 per year, and household income of $450,000 per year. The tax on estates would rise to 40 percent, with an exemption of $5 million.
The sticking point involved the sequester, the automatic and swift cuts to spending that make up the second prong of the fiscal cliff. Republicans have signaled they might let the sequester take effect unless it was offset by other spending cuts. The GOP also said it might accept a delay, but only for a few months.
The Obama administration, however, is pushing for a longer delay in implementing the sequester. Otherwise, the president said, replacing those automatic cuts must be balanced, shorthand for a combination of new taxes and other spending cuts.