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).
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.
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.