Obama Summons Congress Leaders

As budget deadline approaches, there's little sign of action on the Hill.

President Barack Obama summoned congressional leaders to a White House meeting three days before a year-end deadline to avoid $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases as lawmakers gave little sign they intend to act together on a budget plan.

Obama, who had been negotiating one-on-one with House Speaker John Boehner, will meet today with Republicans Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats.

Tax Increases

If Congress does nothing, taxes will go up in 2013 by an average of $3,446 for U.S. households, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington. Tax filing for as many as two-thirds of U.S. taxpayers could be delayed into at least late March. Defense spending would be cut, and the economy would probably enter a recession in the first half of 2013, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Market Reaction

S&P 500 index futures expiring in March dropped 0.4 percent to 1,405.3 at 7:32 a.m. today in New York. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dropped 46 points, or almost 0.4 percent, to 12,957 today. The benchmark Treasury 10-year note yield declined three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 1.70 percent at 7:44 a.m. in New York, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices.

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