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. (Read more House of Representatives stories.)