The Christmas break has turned into Cliffmas for President Obama, who is cutting short his vacation in Hawaii to return to DC for a final attempt to strike a budget deal before the Jan. 1 fiscal cliff, the Washington Post reports. Obama will leave for Washington tonight after four days of vacation, though Michelle and their daughters will stay behind. The House and Senate are due back tomorrow.
The big focus is expected to be in the Senate, with Obama and Harry Reid looking to fashion at least a patchwork agreement to stave off tax increases for most Americans. Will they get a deal done before the deadline? A new Gallup poll finds that the public is less than optimistic, reports CNN. Some 50% say a deal is very or somewhat likely, down from 59% earlier this month; 48% say a deal is unlikely, up from 38%.