WASHINGTON -- 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.

President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Monday they were 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.

Congress could pass later legislation retroactively blocking the tax hikes and spending cuts.

Interactive: Avoiding the 'fiscal cliff

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