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The United States to fall off the 'fiscal cliff' at midnight

House Republican leaders have announced that they will not hold any votes tonight, which means automatic tax increases and spending cuts will kick in on Jan. 1, 2013.

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John Boehner, speaker of the US House of Representatives. House Republican leaders said they would not hold any votes tonight. (Alex Wong/AFP/Getty Images)

House Republican leaders have announced that they will not hold any votes tonight, which means the United States will fall “the fiscal cliff” at midnight, the Washington Post reported.

About $600 billion in tax increases and government spending cuts will automatically take effect on Jan. 1, Reuters reported.

According to CNN:

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has predicted the combined effect could dampen economic growth by 0.5 percent, possibly tipping the US economy into a recession and driving unemployment from its current 7.7 percent back over 9 percent.

However, lawmakers were hopeful that they could hammer out an agreement and vote on a deal on New Year’s Day, bringing taxes back down before Americans go back to work – and the US stock market reopens – on Wednesday, CNN reported.

President Barack Obama said today that an agreement is “within sight,” although there were “still issues left to resolve,” the Washington Post reported.

More from GlobalPost: Obama speaks on fiscal cliff hours before deadline (VIDEO)

One sticking point was what to do about the $110 billion in automatic domestic and military spending cuts due to occur over the next nine months, CNN reported. Republicans want to delay the cuts by three months while Democrats want to put them off for one year.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121231/the-united-states-fall-the-fiscal-cliff-at-midni