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“There are certainly no breakthroughs yet ... but there’s a real possibility of a deal,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democratic leader, of the talks between Reid and McConnell. Schumer appeared on ABC’s “This Week.”
“On these big, big agreements, they almost always happen at the last minute. Neither side likes to give up its position,” Schumer said. “They eyeball each other until the very end, but then each side, realizing that the alternative is worse, comes to an agreement.”
Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the assistant Republican leader who appeared on the show with Schumer, also alluded to the fear factor. “If we are not able to reach an agreement, it will be dire,” Kyl said.
Schumer said there’s general agreement on reviving and extending some lapsed and expiring tax code provisions other than the rates, including patching the alternative minimum tax to blunt its impact on middle-income taxpayers.