obama (pointing)*(Via AJC.com) – 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.

Earlier we reported …

Working with Congress against a midnight deadline, President Barack Obama said Monday that a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” was in sight but not yet finalized.

The emerging deal would raise tax rates on family income over $450,000 and individual income over $400,000 a year, increase the estate tax rate and extend unemployment benefits for one year.

“There are still issues left to resolve but we’re hopeful Congress can get it done,” Obama said at a campaign-style event at the White House. “But it’s not done.”

In the building New Year’s Eve drama, the parties still were at an impasse over whether to put off the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect at the beginning of the year and if so, how to pay for that.

One official said talks were focused on a two-month delay in the across-the-board cuts but negotiators had yet to agree on about $24 billion in savings from elsewhere in the budget. Democrats had asked for the cuts to be put off for one year and be offset by unspecified revenue.

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