Obama says confident on getting tax cut deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama expressed confidence on Wednesday that Democrats and Republicans would be able to break a political deadlock and reach a deal on soon-to-expire Bush-era tax cuts. Read more

Pentagon says cost cuts not aimed at profits

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Pentagon’s chief arms buyer underscored on Wednesday the Defense Department’s determination to cut costs, but sought to reassure investors the initiative was not aimed at cutting industry profits. Read more

House approves short-term spending bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to avert a federal government shutdown by extending temporary funding for another two weeks, giving Democrats time to craft a more lasting solution. Read more

White House memo outlines new anti-leak measures

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House has set up a special anti-WikiLeaks panel after the embarrassing flood of State Department cables leaked by the website, and its proposals include teams of inspectors who would prowl government agencies looking for ways to tighten security. Read more

U.S. tax chief warns of glitches if AMT fix delayed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. tax chief told lawmakers on Wednesday the Internal Revenue Service needs clarity on the fate of the alternative minimum tax, which could ensnare 21 million unintended taxpayers if a law is not amended before year-end. Read more

Deficit panel recalibrates, seeks more support

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A presidential panel on balancing the U.S. budget on Wednesday revised its fiscal austerity plan with deeper spending cuts and a more flexible tax code overhaul, hoping to draw broader political support. Read more

Berlusconi in focus on Clinton’s WikiLeaks tour

ASTANA (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has done a lot of explaining to foreign leaders after the embarrassing Wikileaks release of U.S. embassy cables — but few needed as much placating as Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi. Read more

U.S. says sanctions cost Iran investment, banking access

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iran is finding it increasingly difficult to access the financial services it needs to run its economy and may lose up to $60 billion in energy investments due to global sanctions, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. Read more