OVERNIGHT MONEY: 'Fiscal cliff' talks continue

Again, there's no shortage of ideas and stances being bandied about but, at the moment, not much progress forward as everyone creeps toward the "fiscal cliff" of automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to hit in January.

Meanwhile, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other House Republican leaders plan to meet Wednesday with Erskine Bowles, the Democratic co-chairman of President Obama’s debt commission, as well as CEOs and civic leaders of the “Fix the Debt” coalition.

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At the White House, Obama met with small-business leaders about the looming spending and tax issues, a continuation of regular meetings he's holding with various stakeholders. 

Soon, he'll hit the road to share his plan with the American public, arguing that the nation's wealthiest taxpayers should pay more. 

House Republicans are planning their own campaign to argue that raising taxes will hurt small businesses.

While talks continue, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is pressing for the package to include an increase in the debt ceiling to avoid another confrontation with Republicans early next year over spending issues.

Nevernind that Democrats and Republicans aren't seeing eye to eye on matters, but Senate and House Republicans seem headed in different directions, too.

Some GOP senators want to get a deal done fast, while House Republicans are seeking broader tax and entitlement changes that Democrats argue should be put on hold for a grand bargain next year.

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Tuesday said entitlement reforms should not be included in a short-term budget deal.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who has authored legislation to avoid a jump off the fiscal cliff, said decisions could be wrapped up in a few days.

Well, there are about 17 days until the weekend before Christmas. 

Tick, tick, tick.


WHAT ELSE TO WATCH FOR 

What's past is present: A group of former lawmakers and policy experts will gather Wednesday to talk about the 1990 budget summit in a discussion held by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), George Mason University and Deloitte. 

Former Virginia Republican Rep. Thomas Davis, director of legislative affairs and public policy at Deloitte & Touche, will join former Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.); former Senate Budget Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.); former Democratic Rep. Tom Foley (Wash.); former House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.); and former director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Robert Reischauer to chat about budget issues Congress faces with finding a solution to tax and spending matters before the end of the year.

Fixing the debt: The Campaign to Fix the Debt will hold a news conference to address the fiscal cliff and the country's long-term debt challenges with Maya MacGuineas, head of the group, and Mark Bertolini, CEO and president of Aetna, as well as several other business leaders and students. 


ECONOMIC INDICATORS 

MBA Mortgage Index: The Mortgage Bankers Association releases its weekly report on mortgage application volume. 

New Home Sales: The Commerce Department releases its October report on new privately owned single-family houses sold and for sale. Historically low mortgage rates have helped boost sales and builders are feeling more confident than they have in six years. 

Fed's Beige Book: The Federal Reserve releases it October summary on current economic conditions ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's next meeting Dec. 11-12.


WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

— Report: Less debt-limit wiggle room in 2013
— OECD: Recession a possibility without action on cliff, Europe
— Consumer confidence climbs again despite cliff
Home prices continue to rise in most major cities
— Reid introduces bill extending federal guarantees for bank accounts
— Ryan makes pitch for extended tenure atop Budget panel
— Schumer: GOP wants a 'divorce' from Norquist
— Rep. Cummings: Obama ‘determined’ to get deal before cliff deadline 


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