(Re-ledes with no House vote on Monday)


The U.S. House of Representatives is not scheduled to hold any vote on Monday evening, meaning that the United States will go over the so-called "fiscal cliff."

Although negotiations between Republican and Democrat lawmakers are continuing, House sources told the media that the chamber will not vote on a possible compromise before midnight, thus apparently ensuring that no deal will be reached until 2013.

President Barack Obama said a few hours earlier that while an agreement to avert the set of automatic tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff was "within sight," the deal was "not done.

The leader of the Republican minority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, agreed with the president that both parties are "very, very close" to working out a deal and that an agreement in principle had already been reached regarding the tax portion of a plan to avert the consequences of the fiscal cliff.

Addressing a friendly crowd at a White House event, the president asked lawmakers for a final effort to reach a compromise before the year is out.

"(F)or now, our most immediate priority is to stop taxes going up for middle-class families, starting tomorrow. I think that is a modest goal that we can accomplish. Democrats and Republicans in Congress have to get this done. But they're not there yet. They are close, but they're not there yet," the president said.

If Republican and Democrat legislators do not strike an agreement before midnight on Monday, tax increases for all Americans will enter into force along with cuts in all federal government spending, and some 2.3 million people will lose their unemployment benefits. EFE