President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) met for a last-minute meeting Friday to negotiate a deal to avert the quickly-approaching “fiscal cliff,” a combination of tax increases and deep spending cuts set to take effect next year unless Congress comes up with a budget plan.
The meeting broke up at about 4:14 p.m. ET. Everyone left in silence:
So, a clean sweep -- no comments from Boehner, Reid, Pelosi or McConnell leaving the meeting.
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) December 28, 2012
Based on the fact that both Sen. Reid and Rep. Boehner declined to comment on the details of the meeting, it's probably safe to assume that neither side is any closer to getting what it wants. President Obama offered nothing new, according to Reuters, and an aide with Boehner's office said the Speaker will not be returning to the Capitol today.
Indeed, it would appear that the only thing accomplished by today's meeting is that Senate leadership was told to get its act together by House leaders:
Boehner aide's take on WH meeting: "The group agreed that the next step should be the Senate taking bipartisan action.”
— Ed Henry (@edhenryTV) December 28, 2012
Aide to Speaker Boehner says he insisted that Senate must act on previous House bill & either pass it or amend it.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) December 28, 2012
U.S. lawmakers'apparent failure to reach an agreement today resulted in a really, terrifically rough day for the market:
Shortly after the meeting broke up, President Obama held a press conference to say that he is "mildly optimistic" that a deal can be reached.
"I’m modestly optimistic that a -- an agreement can be achieved," the president said. "Nobody’s going to get 100 percent of what they want but let’s make sure that middle-class families and the American economy, and in fact, the world economy aren’t adversely impacted because people can’t do their jobs."
President Obama made sure to voice his displeasure with Congress.
"Ordinary folks, they do their jobs. They meet deadlines. They sit down and discuss things and then things happen," said the president.
"It there are disagreements they sort through the disagreements. The notion that our elected leadership can’t do the same thing is mind-boggling to them. It needs to stop," he added:
Members of Congress will meet Sunday to try one last time to negotiate a deal both parties can agree on:
No negotiations on Sunday morning because everyone’s on television. So we have Saturday, Sunday afternoon-evening, then New Year’s Eve.
— John Carney (@carney) December 28, 2012
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Featured image courtesy Fox News. This post has been updated.