“The Senate has already rejected House Republicans’ tea party bills, and no further legislation can move through the Senate until Republicans drop their knee-jerk obstruction,” the Reid spokesman shot back shortly thereafter. “Right now, the Senate bill is the only bill that can become law, and House Republicans owe it to middle-class families to let it pass with Democratic and Republican votes.”
The intransigence of both sides has made a deal against the clock seem increasingly unlikely. But if anything gets brokered, it likely now has to come from the Senate, where Reid and McConnell largely negotiated the August 2011 debt deal that helped bring Congress into the situation it finds itself now. Senate Republican aides suggested McConnell might get involved in talks but that Senate Democrats have to bring something else to the table than the tax bill they’re pushing. McConnell could serve as a key figure in any solution, sources say, but whether his involvement is imminent or would only increase in a post-cliff scenario was not immediately clear.
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