UPDATE 12/31/12 @ 9:45 p.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Democratic aide says the White House and congressional Republicans have reached an agreement to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
The measure would extend Bush-era tax cuts for family incomes below $450,000 and briefly avert across-the-board spending cuts set to strike the Pentagon and domestic agencies this week.
Vice President Joe Biden was set to sell the agreement to Senate Democrats at a meeting at the Capitol on Monday night.
The aide required anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly.
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.
The Kentucky Republican did not provide any details. But he said on the Senate floor that lawmakers should pass legislation averting tax increases that would otherwise take effect at the start of New Year's Day.
McConnell spoke after President Barack Obama said in televised remarks from the White House that a deal was in sight.
That's according to officials familiar with the negotiations.
The deal in the works would return tax rates on families making over $450,000 to 39.6 percent. The tax on estates worth more than $5 million would increase to 40 percent. And unemployment benefits would continue for one year.
The officials say the White House and Republicans are at an impasse over what to do about automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to begin taking effect on Jan. 1. Democrats want to put off the cuts for one year.
The officials requested anonymity in order to discuss the internal negotiations.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says he's yet to receive a response to an offer he made on Saturday evening to Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Kentucky Republican says he's reached out to Vice President Joe Biden in hopes of breaking the impasse and a McConnell spokesman confirmed the two have spoken.
Reid says he's been trying to come up with a counteroffer but has been unable to do so. He says he's been in frequent contact with President Barack Obama, who in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" blamed Republicans for putting the nation's shaky economy at risk.
The pessimistic turn came as the House and Senate returned to the Capitol for a rare Sunday session. The fate of the negotiations remain in doubt before the beginning of a new year that would trigger across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts that leaders in both parties have said they want to avoid.
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