Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) announced Monday afternoon that he and Vice President Biden have agreed on the tax portion of a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff.”

McConnell said negotiators are very close to a final deal, and urged his colleagues to decouple taxes from spending issues and pass a bill to shield the vast majority of people from tax increases.

“I can report that we’ve reached an agreement on all of the tax issues,” he said. “We are very, very close.”