OVERNIGHT MONEY: All eyes on Bernanke

Let's talk tax reform: Senate Finance Committee ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) will chat about business taxes in an address at the Peterson Institute for International Economics on Tuesday. He'll be joined by other tax policy experts on the issue. 


FISCAL CLIFF ROUNDUP

Let the proposals flow: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and President Obama exchanged new "fiscal cliff" offers on Tuesday. 

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The Boehner offer came in response to a new White House proposal put on the table after meeting with Obama on Sunday. Obama offered $1.4 trillion in revenue, down from $1.6 trillion. Boehner stuck at $800 billion. So there's not much movement.

Earlier in the day, Boehner called on Obama to offer specific spending cuts as part of a year-end package. 

That led House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to challenge Republicans to clarify what tax increases they want. 

She said she wants to ensure the middle class is not hurt by tax increases. But she said Republicans are too focused on spending cuts and are ignoring the idea of higher taxes.

Then, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he thought Boehner's brief floor speech was disappointing

While there seemed to be some movement forward, Democrats and Republicans expressed mixed feelings about the progression of negotiations.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday it would be “extremely difficult” for Washington to reach a deal before Christmas

Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said a deal can be reached even though a "game of chicken" is being played over negotiations. 

"I know it's a game of chicken, but I just don't believe that it's going to happen, because I just don't think any of us at the end of the day want it to happen for the country," said McCain on Fox News's "Your World with Neil Cavuto." 


LOOSE CHANGE

Nominee push: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) urged his fellow panel members during a Tuesday hearing to approve the nominations of Ronald Buch and Albert Lauber to be judges on the U.S. Tax Court. 

“Mr. Buch and Mr. Lauber will play essential roles ensuring U.S. tax laws are administered fairly, Baucus said. "Both nominees have strong backgrounds in tax law and will use their experiences to ensure that taxpayers can make their voices heard.”

The Finance Committee will meet at a later date to vote on the nominations. If the committee approves the nominations, they will then move to the full Senate for consideration and a confirmation vote.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS 

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

Treasury Budget: The Treasury Department releases its November budget data, which is used mostly by the market for year-over-year changes in receipts and outlays. 

Export Prices-Import Prices: The Commerce Department releases its November report tracking trends in exports and imports, with the export data worth watching for indications of how the global economy is faring. Imports provide an indication of domestic demand, but given the severe lag of this report relative to other consumption indicators, it is not particularly valuable.


WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

— Camp rejects big business backing for raising tax rates on highest earners

— Republicans question need for $60.4 billion in Hurricane Sandy aid

— GOP senators: Obama out 'campaigning' instead of negotiating on deficit

— House Democrats press for homeowner help in 'fiscal cliff' deal

— Pelosi: Keep Medicare age where it is

— Senate advances bill extending guarantees for small business bank accounts

— White House supports extension of bank guarantee program

— Wealthy group that includes Warren Buffett, Jimmy Carter calls for heftier estate tax

— Small-business optimism plummets

— Trade deficit ticks up to $42.2 billion

— Michigan legislature approves 'right-to-work' law in 58-51 vote


Catch us on Twitter: @VickoftheHill, @peteschroeder, @elwasson and @berniebecker3

Tips and feedback, vneedham@thehill.com

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