Waiting waiting waiting....
December 31st, 2012
07:56 AM ET

Waiting waiting waiting....

Everyone is back early from their holiday vacations , the president, the vice president, the Senate and even the House of Representatives. The whole gang is here in D.C. So with everybody in town and focused on the issue at hand, will lawmakers avert what has been described by some as a national crisis?

So far the public schedule is empty. We can only hope the leaders will have something to announce later in the day.

Here is the latest CNN wire on the negotiations.

(CNN) - With only hours left Monday to avert what economists predict will be a one-two punch to the U.S. economy, Senate Democrats and Republicans were trying to negotiate a last-minute deal aimed at heading off a year-end combination of spending cuts and tax increase that could trigger a new recession.

The Senate was scheduled to reconvene at 11 a.m. ET on Monday when Majority Leader Harry Reid said he hoped to have an announcement despite acknowledging on Sunday that there was "still significant distance between the two sides."

The negotiations hit a major stumbling block Sunday over a Republican demand that a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" include changes to Social Security benefits, even as the two sides appeared close to agreeing on who would be required to pay more taxes once the Bush-era tax cuts expire.

Republicans have since dropped a demand that changes to how Social Security benefits are adjusted for inflation be included in a deal, but not before Democrats and Republicans accused one another of gamesmanship in the negotiations.

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