Fiscal Cliff Countdown Inches Closer to Cut-Off Date

End in sight for financial bickering in congress, final deal just days away.
2:02 | 12/20/12

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Transcript for Fiscal Cliff Countdown Inches Closer to Cut-Off Date
And, we move on now to another traveler who put his holiday plans on hold, but for a very different reason. President obama had hoped to begin his family vacation tomorrow, but he's staying in washington because of the wrangling over the fiscal cliff, now 12 days away. And abc's jonathan karl tells us tonight what happened today on the high stakes negotiations. Reporter: All the pickering, you'd think they're miles apart. My proposal is right there in the middle. His plan is not balanced. What we have from the speaker is a disastrous plan. This president has not come forward with that balanced approach. Reporter: But in reality, the differences just aren't that great. Speaker of the house john boehner has now agreed to do something republicans had said was unthinkable -- raise tax rates on the wealthy. The difference? Democrats would raise rates on those making over $400,000 a year. Republicans on those making or a million dollars. And president obama has now agreed to something that had been unthinkable for democrats. Cutting spending on social security and medicare. Programs they've considered untouchable. Even when it comes to how much to tax and how much to cut, the difference isn't all that much. Speaker boehner wants a 50/50 split between tax hikes and spending cuts. President obama leans a little heavier on tax hikes. So, the difference in their grand plans is just this. When you ask them why they can't just meet in the middle, you get this. Why can't you just split the differences and get a deal done? I don't think that the white house has gotten serious. We don't have a definite offer from the speaker. Reporter: Tonight on capitol hill, there is no indication that the two sides are close at all, in fact, house republicans are about to pass something that senate democrats say is going nowhere and the president has already threatened to veto. Diane? All right, jonaan karl. And jon, before I let you go, i want to congratulate you on a new reporting role forbc news, our chief white house correspondent. And, we are so excited, looking forward to seeing you over at the white house soon. Reporter: Thank you, diane. I'm looking forward to it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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