Washington Daybook: Stepping Closer to the Cliff

Photograph by Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

The Capitol building stands in Washington.

House Speaker John Boehner will hold a news conference this morning to lay out the next steps on averting the fiscal cliff after yielding to anti-tax resistance within his own party and scrapping “Plan B” to allow higher rates on annual income above $1 million.

Stocks fell worldwide, treasuries gained and the yen strengthened against its peers after the failure threw the already-stalled budget talks further into turmoil and cast doubt on Boehner’s ability to navigate the competing political and legislative forces bearing down on him.

President Barack Obama urged gun-control advocates to pressure lawmakers to ban sales of military-style assault weapons In a video posted today on Google Inc.’s YouTube website.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will speak at funeral services for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye at Washington National Cathedral.

Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller attend a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetary this afternoon for Pan Am 103, which was destroyed by a bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland, 24 years ago today, killing all aboard including 189 Americans.

The Senate will be trying to finish up business before a shortened Christmas break. Look for votes on defense authorization and on cutting off debate over a disaster-relief bill.

Also today, the Environmental Protection Agency may announce the latest version of the Boiler MACT rule, a regulation opposed by paper companies and other manufacturers. Robert Khuzami, who led the Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement division’s pursuit of financial industry wrongdoing, plans to step down. And the ITC announces the next step in a patent-infringement case filed against LG Electronics Inc. by Taiwan research institute over backlight modules for LCD televisions.

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