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There had been some hope earlier in the week that lawmakers might strike a deal before Christmas, but as the weekend inched closer and many members planned to travel to Hawaii on Saturday for Sen. Daniel K. Inouye’s funeral Sunday, those chances dimmed significantly. Reid told reporters he expected the Senate to return to session Dec. 27.
House Republicans are scheduled to vote Thursday evening on their “plan B,” which would allow taxes to rise on those making more than $1 million. GOP leaders hope passage will put the political burden of inaction on the larger fiscal cliff on Democrats.
The White House and Senate Democrats believe they can fault Republicans if lawmakers permit the government to go over the fiscal cliff, the automatic spending cuts and tax hikes slated to take effect Jan. 1.
Daniel Newhauser contributed to this report.