Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada speaks to reporters following the Democratic policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this morning that
it "looks like" Congress will fail to come to a deal to avert the
year-end fiscal cliff.
"It looks like that's where we're headed," Reid said.
White House says President Barack Obama has made separate phone calls
to congressional leaders to discuss the impending fiscal cliff.
White House official says Obama called Reid, House Speaker John
Boehner, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic
leader Nancy Pelosi late Wednesday. The president made the calls before
leaving his Hawaiian vacation for Washington, D.C.
are engaged in a playground game of "who goes first," daring each other
to let the year end without avoiding a Jan. 1 confluence of higher
taxes and deep spending cuts.
Obama returns from Hawaii
Thursday to this familiar showdown in the nation's capital, with even a
stopgap solution now in doubt. This post-Christmas period unfolds amid a
growing sentiment that Congress could still act in January without
causing economic harm.
But a big deficit reduction deal is
unlikely. That puts pressure on how Congress deals with the nation's
borrowing limit, which Republicans see as another budget-trimming
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said
Wednesday the government would hit its borrowing limit on Monday but
said he would take "extraordinary measures as authorized by law" to
postpone a government default.