Congress continues to search for a deal that will avert the fiscal cliff
Lawmakers say there is still significant distance between both sides.
WASHINGTON (NBC) -
We're now less than 24 hours away from hitting the so-called Fiscal Cliff.
Despite last minute efforts over the weekend- there's still no deal to avoid massive tax hikes and spending cuts.
Lawmakers say there is still significant distance between both sides, but they are making progress, leaving some hope for a last minute deal.
The U.S. Congress is waking from a restless weekend of intense and often frustrating negotiations.
They won't be meeting again until late Monday morning- leaving little time to stop those massive tax hikes and spending cuts from setting in. "We're going to come in at 11am tomorrow morning, and will have further announcements, perhaps, in the morning. I certainly hope so," said Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid, (D-NV).
Because of what aides describe as "constructive movement" over the weekend, lawmakers compromised on key issue like taxes for wealthier Americans - and avoiding a jump in inheritance taxes.
Republicans also dropped a demand to cut Social Security. "The consequences of this are too high for the American people to be engaged in a political messaging campaign. I'm interested in a result here," said Senate Minority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
On Meet The Press- President Obama blamed Republicans for holding up a deal. "I think it's been very hard for Speaker Boehner and Republican Leader McConnell to accept the fact that taxes on the wealthiest Americans should go up a little bit," said President Barack Obama.
Yesterday, it was Republicans waiting on Democrats for a counter offer. "I think it's pretty obvious that the President has wanted us and still wants us to go over the fiscal cliff," said Rep. John Fleming, (R) Louisiana.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the Vice President for help, and today all hands will be on deck- as lawmakers scramble into the final hours.