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'Fiscal cliff': How far apart are the sides now on tax cut deal?

Both sides have appeared to come closer together on Bush-era tax cuts, but many other issues remain, and Senate majority leader Harry Reid still isn't saying much publicly.

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Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada retreats to a closed-door meeting with fellow Democrats as he and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky negotiate a deal to avert tax hikes and mandated spending cuts, seen here at the Capitol on Sunday.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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With income tax rates set to increase at midnight New Year’s Eve, the jockeying on Capitol Hill is intense. 

Negotiations broke down for hours on Sunday, after Democrats rejected a GOP proposal (later retracted) to trim Social Security payments, known as “chained CPI," but did not make a counteroffer. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called on Vice President Joe Biden to help break the impasse.

By late Sunday, both sides appeared to have come closer together on at least one deeply divisive issue: extending the Bush-era tax cuts on all but the highest incomes.

 
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