Obama to Host Meeting as Cliff Looms

House is set to reconvene on Sunday night, ahead of cliff deadline

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 27, 2012 2:53 PM CST | Updated Dec 28, 2012 7:41 AM CST

(Newser) – Let the last-minute drama begin: President Obama will meet with the top congressional leaders from both parties at the White House today, reports the AP. Obama intends to outline elements that he thinks should be in any deal and could garner majority support in both chambers of Congress, but he won't put forward a specific bill, a source tells the Wall Street Journal. It adds that, notably, the White House is directly involving Mitch McConnell in the talks for the first time.

News of the meeting came hours after Eric Cantor said the House of Representatives would reconvene Sunday night, a mere two days before the fiscal cliff deadline, reports the Hill. The Senate is already back in session, but most senators aren't happy about it, according to the New York Times, given that there isn't actually anything for them to do. "This is no way to run things," groused Rand Paul. But some evinced hope. On the Today Show, Chuck Schumer said the "odds are better than people think" that a deal will be reached, now that McConnell is "actively engaged," the AP reports. McConnell himself echoed the sentiment. "Here we are, five days from the New Year, and we might finally start talking," he told the Times.

Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor speak to reporters on Friday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., speaks to the media about the fiscal cliff and "Plan B," at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama returns a Marine honor guard's salute as he steps off the Marine One helicopter and walks on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 27.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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