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House Won’t Vote Before Midnight On ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal

Above: President Barack Obama delivers remarks about the fiscal cliff negotiations in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House December 31, 2012 in Washington, DC.

The House will miss the midnight Monday deadline lawmakers set for voting to avoid the "fiscal cliff."

House Republicans notified lawmakers that the chamber will vote Monday evening on other bills. They say that will be their only votes of the day.

President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Monday they are near a deal to avoid wide-ranging tax increases and spending cuts — the fiscal cliff — that take effect with the new year.

Both men said they were still bargaining over whether — and how — to avoid $109 billion in cuts to defense and domestic programs that take effect on Wednesday.

It remained unclear whether the Senate would vote Monday.

Congress could pass later legislation retroactively blocking the tax hikes and spending cuts.

San Diego's political and business leaders have criticized the approaching automatic cuts as being harmful to San Diego's economy because of their impact on the defense budget.

The region is highly dependent on the Pentagon's largesse, which makes up 14 percent of San Diego's gross domestic product, according to the National University System Institute for Policy Research in San Diego.

Indirectly, defense spending is involved in one of every four dollars created by the region's economy, the institute reported.

Sequestration, a poison pill strategy implemented last year to end a fight over raising the nation's debt limit, calls for billions of dollars of automatic cuts beginning Wednesday if U.S. political leaders fail to reach agreement to reduce the nation's deficit spending.

Sequestration would also result in higher taxes for individuals and businesses and reduced federal support for other areas of the economy, including health care research by San Diego's extensive biotech industry, community health clinics and Head Start programs.

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