Don't expect any action on the "fiscal cliff" until New Year's eve. Thumb-twiddling scheduled to end 12/31/12, but no solution promised.
Congressional leaders and the White House are taking a holiday break in negotiations over how to avoid year-end spending cuts and tax increases, and may not take up the issue in earnest again until just before New Year's Eve.
There have been no talks between party leaders or between the White House and GOP officials since Friday, when President Barack Obama and Congress left town for Christmas, officials close to the negotiations say. That dims the prospect that any backup plan for averting the fiscal cliff could be devised and moved through the Senate when it reconvenes Thursday, as some expected. ...WSJ
Aw, jeez! Nobody seems to agree with anybody else about how close the cliff is? Huh? Evan Soltas at WaPo's Wonkblog rounds up a summary of opinions about the resuming talks. An excerpt:
Matt Yglesias hits the nail -- the thumbnail -- on the head with a doom-'n'-gloom mallet. Disaster? Mayhem? Gotta love 'em!
Obama may be heading back to Washington to restart fiscal-cliff negotiations. “[B]oth chambers of Congress will come back from their holiday hiatus on Thursday and return to work. While there are growing signs that some members of both parties are prepared to accept a deal that raises taxes on people at the highest income levels, there is considerable distance between Republicans and Democrats and no guarantee that an agreement could pass.” Jeremy W. Peters in The New York Times.
@Goldfarb: A White House official says Obama plans to leave Hawaii as soon as Wednesday — to return to fiscal cliff negotiations.
From ‘fiscal cliff’ to ‘fiscal horizon.’ “Some hits — like a two percentage point increase in payroll taxes and the end of unemployment benefits for more than two million jobless Americans — would be felt right away. But other effects, like tens of billions in automatic spending cuts, to include both military and other programs, would be spread out between now and the end of the 2013 fiscal year in September. These could quickly be reversed if a compromise is found…In the meantime, more observers are contemplating what the impact will be if Washington ignores the year-end deadline and waits until January or February to act.” Nelson D. Schwartz in The New York Times.
@mattyglesias: Remember the fiscal cliff? Those were good times.