Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Still at a Standstill on Capitol Hill

By Scott Sarvay

November 26, 2012 Updated Dec 7, 2012 at 1:17 PM EDT

Washington D.C. (www.incnow.tv) - The November employment numbers are out, job creation is holding steady and the unemployment rate continues to improve. As good as things look the “fiscal cliff” is still looming.

Friday's monthly jobs report was better than expected, with employers hiring 146,000 workers in November.

But the unemployment rate, now at 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008.

Economists had worried that Superstorm Sandy would slow job creation last month just like they worry about the impact of the fiscal cliff.

Some economists also estimate that at least 200,000 fewer jobs have been created this year due to uncertainty about the fiscal cliff.

In Washington, Republicans and Democrats are talking again. But still, no breakthrough. The parties are locked in a stalemate. President Obama is demanding that higher tax rates for the wealthy and a permanent extension to the debt ceiling which would allow the government the ability to borrow more money, be part of a deal.

Republicans, who've signaled they're open to raising tax revenue, say they'll only do so in exchange for deep spending cuts.

If Washington can't strike a deal, one casualty would be the end of compensation for the long term unemployed.

That has people like Melinda Vega, who collects $450 a week in unemployment, very worried.

Vega says, “Christmas and things of that nature are probably off the table."

Aides to President Obama and Speaker Boehner met on Thursday afternoon. But the meeting ended with no discernible signs of progress.

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