With only four negotiating days ’til “cliff mess,” all eyes are on the Senate as lawmakers play a game of “who goes first,” daring each political party to let the year end without resolving the looming confluence of higher taxes and deep spending cuts that could rattle a recovering, but-still-fragile economy.
President Barack Obama cut short his Hawaii vacation to face the increasingly familiar deadline showdown in the nation’s capital, with even a stopgap solution now in doubt.
And the Senate returned Thursday, with Majority Leader Harry Reid accusing Republican Speaker John Boehner of running his chamber as “a dictatorship of the speaker, not allowing the vast majority of the House of Representatives to get what they want.”
“They’ve done nothing,” Reid said on the Senate floor, challenging Boehner to call the House back into session.
“The speaker has just a few days left to change his mind,” Reid said, but adding: “I don’t know time wise how it will happen.”
Adding to the mix of developments pushing toward a “fiscal cliff,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner informed Congress on Wednesday that the government was on track to hit its borrowing limit on Monday and that he would take “extraordinary measures as authorized by law” to postpone a government default.
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