The Senate has adjourned until Monday, making it seem less and less likely that lawmakers will be able to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
The US Senate ended the day on Sunday still divided along party lines over how to avoid the income tax hikes and government spending cuts, which are set to kick in automatically on January 1.
The “fiscal cliff” could cause the US to stumble into a second recession, reports Yahoo! News. Despite pleas both from the White House and from Republican House Speaker John Boehner, the Senate has not been able to reach an agreement.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid adjourned the Senate until 11 am local time on Monday, New Years Eve, where they will debate one last time over how to avoid the cliff. In announcing the dismissal, Reid attempted to sound positive, saying that closed-door discussions are still going on, according to NPR. He added:
“There is still significant distance between the two sides, but negotiations continue. There is still time left to reach an agreement and we intend to continue negotiations.”
Despite Harry Reid’s optimism, not all senators believe that the fiscal cliff can be avoided at this point. Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s Minority Leader, sought help from Vice President Biden on Sunday afternoon, requesting that he helps reignite talks between the White House and Congress.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill added, “We’ve been told not to make plans for New Year’s Eve.” Even if the Senate is able to put together a plan on Monday that satisfies both sides, it will still take time for the House to reconvene and vote before the measure goes to President Obama for final approval.