Sunday, December 30, 2012

3 p.m. Deadline In Senate...

Reid and McConnell have set a deadline of about 3 p.m. on Sunday for cinching a deal. That’s when they’re planning to convene caucus meetings of their respective members in separate rooms just off the Senate floor. At that point, the leaders will brief their rank and file on whether there has been significant progress and will determine whether there is enough support to press ahead with a proposal.

“They both know the clock ends Sunday,” said Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska).

If all goes according to plan, the leaders would roll out the legislation Sunday night and hold a vote by at least midday Monday, giving the House the rest of New Year’s Eve to consider the measure.

In the House, Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) huddled Saturday with his senior staff for two hours but remained on the periphery of the negotiations. Passage in the unpredictable chamber is anything but certain. Boehner told President Obama and congressional leaders Friday that he could commit only to considering a Senate-passed bill and suggested that the House may amend that bill and send it back to the Senate.

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