'Fiscal cliff’ Talks Could Collide with Christmas
November 27, 2012
For the fourth consecutive year, a major Washington negotiation is on a collision course with Christmas.
President Obama and congressional leaders spoke optimistically after a meeting 10 days ago about avoiding a last-minute fiscal-cliff scramble, tasking staff with coming up with some solutions by this week. But sources close to the negotiations say those talks haven’t gone anywhere on any of the most salient issues.
Officials said Obama spoke by phone on Saturday with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), but no additional face-to-face meetings have been scheduled. The delay is a signal that discussions on the staff level have not yet yielded enough progress to warrant a second confab of the five elected leaders who will shake hands on any final agreement — Obama, Boehner, Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).