Sunday, December 30, 2012

Congress Meets Cliff's Edge -

Congress Meets Cliff's Edge - "Senate negotiations to craft a bipartisan budget deal proceeded in chaotic fits and starts Sunday, raising new questions about whether Congress would be able to steer the country away from the fiscal cliff.

The day featured 11th-hour negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), lengthy closed-door meetings by each party and a new effort to involve Vice President Joe Biden in the talks. The Senate had set itself a goal of hatching a deal by midafternoon Sunday, a deadline that slipped by as both sides instead bickered in public and tried to apportion blame for the continuing impasse.

At day's end, the axis of negotiations had shifted to talks between Mr. McConnell and Mr. Biden, while Mr. Reid seemed to step away from the give and take. An aide to Mr. McConnell said he was still in talks with Mr. Biden. Mr. Reid announced the Senate wouldn't hold any votes Sunday night, but would meet again Monday at 11 a.m.

"There is significant distance between the two sides," he said. "There is still time left to reach an agreement and we intend to continue negotiations.""

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