Santa failed to deliver in Washington. We are now just six days away from falling off the fiscal cliff. President Obama is leaving his traditional holiday in Hawaii early. He heads back to the White House tonight. The Senate gets back in session tomorrow. But in the House, Republican leaders have still not called back their members. Speaker Boehner traditionally gives his GOP conference 48 hour notice before they are needed back in the Capitol. So far, that call has not gone out. It also means don’t expect much legislative action in the House Thursday either.
Top republicans now say it’s up to Senate Democrats to make the next move. With the hopes of a grand bargain long gone, Pres. Obama is now supporting a bill the Senate passed this past summer to extend Bush-era tax cuts on incomes less than $250,000.
With time running out, Americans are growing more and more pessimistic that a deal will be reached. Since December 9th, optimism has fallen from 59% to 50%, while doubt about a deal has spiked from 38% to 48%.
In addition to the New Year’s deadline, Washington is also facing a potential government shutdown on March 27. That’s when federal funds run out if Congress doesn’t pass another CR before then. And Washington is set to hit the debt ceiling in late February or early March.