Nightly News   |  December 02, 2012

Geithner says fiscal cliff deal nears

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made the Sunday morning talk show rounds, saying “the only thing that stands in the way of a deal right now is if a group of Republican members decide they’re going to block a deal.” NBC’s Mike Viqueira reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to the political standoff in washington over the so-called fiscal cliff. the president made the first move and congressional republicans were none too pleased with the president's office. now the democrats say it's the republicans' turn.

>> reporter: the president is demanding higher tax rates for the wealthy, congressional republicans want steeper spending cuts and entitlealment reform. after that talk of compromise, now it's turned into another washington standoff. today administration optimism for a deal, but object if republicans give in on raising rates for the wealthy.

>> reporter: do you think we'll get a deal before the end of the year?

>> absolutely. the only thing that stands in our way is if a group of republican members decide they're going to block a deal because they want to extend tax cuts . we can't afford for the wealthiest 2% of americans.

>> the president's idea of negotiation is roll over and do what i ask.

>> reporter: the president's opening bid brought to the gop by geithner is a nonstarter.

>> i said you can't be serious.

>> reporter: the president offered 1.6 trillion in n$1.6 trillion in new in new revenue. the republicans insisted the president show more of his hand.

>> the president keeps spiking the ball on tax increases for the wealthy, but has not yet been forthcoming. without the two, there really is no deal.

>> reporter: what the kpachances we're going to go over the cliff.

>> at a certain point in time, we have to quit playing to the cheap seats in politics. that's what we're waiting on now is a game of chicken to put the painful stuff out there.

>> reporter: actually going over the cliff, call it the inertia scenario, instead of allowing the rates