Democratic officials: Fiscal `cliff' deal reached

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Administration and Senate Democratic officials say the White House and congressional Republicans have reached an agreement to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

The measure would prevent across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts to government programs from taking effect at midnight.

The officials say a New Year's Eve vote in the Senate to ratify the deal was possible later tonight, barring opposition from majority Democrats.

There's been no immediate confirmation from aides to top Republicans in Congress, Sen. Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner. Vice President Joe Biden was headed for the Capitol to brief Democratic rank and file.

The measure would extend Bush-era tax cuts for family incomes below $450,000 and briefly avert across-the-board spending cuts set to strike the Pentagon and domestic agencies this week.


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