Obama is engaging in a little Kabuki Theater today as he flies back from Hawaii to put on a little song and dance routine in which he pretends to make and effort to avoid the fiscal cliff. It is all for show. Over we go.
President Obama returned Thursday afternoon from vacation in Hawaii, as the Senate gaveled into session for unrelated business. House leaders announced that members will return late Sunday – but that leaves just one full day to act on any legislation before the deadline passes.
Rumors were flying Thursday afternoon about last-ditch efforts to craft some sort of a scaled-back package that can shield most Americans from the more than $500 billion in tax hikes scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. Congressional leaders are expected to meet with Obama on Friday.
But with hope fading, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said on the floor that “it looks like” the nation is going to miss the deadline.
Reid also put all the blame on House Speaker John Boehner, likening him to a dictator and claiming he was putting his speakership before the good of the country.
The office of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) responded to reports today that President Barack Obama called him and other congressional leaders to receive updates about negotiations to avoid the Jan. 1 “fiscal cliff” by noting that it was the “first time McConnell has heard from any Democrat, including the President, on this since Thanksgiving.”