Congress returns with economy hanging in the balance

By Patrick Gallagher

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Congress reconvenes today for the lame-duck session, faced with a seven-week deadline to act on the so-called fiscal cliff.

Capital markets were little changed Monday after the S&P 500 experienced its worst week since June for the week ended Nov. 9, with analysts attributing the declines to anxiety over the fiscal cliff.

Should Congress fail to act, all of the Bush-era tax rates would expire and the billion-dollar defense and discretionary spending sequester would begin to take effect Jan. 1.

Since the election, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have indicated a willingness to accept increased revenues and to address entitlement spending.

In a Nov. 11 interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Rep. Paul Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, said he would support increased revenues by closing loopholes and deductions.

The former vice presidential nominee’s support is considered critical to any deal between House Republicans and the Obama administration.

President Obama is scheduled to meet with a group of chief executives and business leaders today at the White House.


About the author

Patrick Gallagher
Bio: Fairfield County Bureau Chief Staff Reporter Westchester County Business Journal Covers: Economy, energy, government, infrastructure and public works projects, law, media, technology Phone: (914) 694-3600, ext. 3017

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