President Obama Says Deal 'Within Sight,' Deficit Solution to Come Later
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Speaking in front of a friendly crowd at the White House on New Year's Eve, President Barack Obama announced that lawmakers have come to an agreement that would prevent tax increases for most of Americans.
"It appears that an agreement to prevent this New Year's tax hike is within sight, but it is not done," Obama said. "There are still issues to be resolve, but we are hopeful that Congress can get it done. But it's not done."
Obama says the plan involves raising taxes on high-income earners. He also said that efforts to reduce the nation's debt would have to come in stages.
"My preference would have been to solve all these problems in the context of a larger agreement...that solves our deficit problems in a balanced and responsible way...so that we can put all of this behind us and just focus on growing our economy," he said. "But with this Congress that was obviously a little too much to hope for at this time....We are going to solve this problem instead in several steps."