WASHINGTON (AP) -- A farm bill that stalled in Congress before the election could see quick action by the end of the year if congressional leaders decide they need its spending cuts to make a deal for averting the "fiscal cliff."
The farm bill passed by the Senate in June would save $23 billion over 10 years, while a version passed by the House Agriculture Committee in July would save $35 billion. The savings come from cuts to farm subsidies and food stamp programs.
That pot of money could be useful to lawmakers who will be scrambling in the year's final weeks to address the combination of tax increases and automatic spending cuts due in January -- dubbed the fiscal cliff because the combination could plunge the economy into another recession.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says he won't accept a plan to avert the so-called fiscal cliff that doesn't ask the wealthy to pay more in taxes.
In Saturday's radio and Internet address, Obama says the election showed support for his "balanced" approach and Congress can provide certainty by extending tax cuts for middle-class families.
House Speaker John Boehner says in the Republican address Congress should not raise tax rates on Americans and instead focus on closing tax loopholes, lowering rates and fixing entitlement programs. Boehner says he is hopeful the two sides can come up with an agreement that would pass Congress.
The White House says Obama would veto any legislation extending tax cuts for families making $250,000 or more.
Obama is expected to meet with congressional leaders next week.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Exit polls show the nation's big labor unions played a major role in helping President Barack Obama win the battleground states of Ohio, Nevada and Wisconsin.
Now, its leaders hope to see a broader pro-union agenda from the White House.
Topping the wish list -- for now -- is a push to raise taxes on wealthy Americans and discourage Obama from agreeing to any deal with Republicans over the looming "fiscal cliff" that cuts into Social Security and Medicare.
But unions are also pressing for new measures that might help boost their sagging membership rolls. That includes new investment in infrastructure, immigration reforms and new regulations that would remove some obstacles to union organizing.
Business groups have vigorously opposed measures designed to help unions recruit new members.
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