The scope of a potential fiscal cliff deal narrowed dramatically Friday as President Barack Obama called on Congress to at least pass a scaled-down agreement that preserves the middle-class tax cuts and unemployment insurance.
The president’s pivot toward a smaller
package is a recognition that the chances of reaching a grand bargain
before the new year diminished greatly after House Republicans revolted
on Thursday. But even a narrow proposal to avert the fiscal cliff won’t
be easy to pass through Congress.