Mere hours remain for Congress and the White House to reach a combined fiscal cliff deal which will prevent sequestration and massive cuts in defense and entitlements. President Obama spoke at 1:30 PM EST today of the need to pressure Congress to close a deal; that speech had several swipes at Republicans, including pointing out that merely a month ago many Republicans had refused to consider new revenues as part of a plan.
- A top aide to Mitch McConnell tweeted "Potus just moved the goalpost again. Significantly. This is new"
- Cantor spokesman Doug Haye: "If Obama's goal was to harm the process and make going over the cliff more likely, he's succeeding."
- Cantor aide: "So....I'm confused....does POTUS want a deal or not? Because all those jabs at Congress certainly sounded like a smack in the face to me."
- Senator John McCain: The President "sent a message of confrontation," "I'm not sure ... whether to be angry or to be saddened."
Actual outage and anger, or bluster, grumbling, and last-minute callouts before a deal? Not much time is left on the clock, and some Republicans might still change their minds. With pressure so high to force through the deal, some might search for any excuse - no matter how petty or insignificant - to back out of a vote. Only one thing is for sure: everyone in the room is going to have a very stressful New Year's Eve.