WASHINGTON -- As we've reported before, we fully expect the fiscal cliff negotiations to go all the way to the end of the year, and perhaps beyond.
Nothing that happened over the weekend alters that view.
While House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other Republicans criticize President Obama's debt reduction plan -- the same program he campaigned on in the fall -- the White House said it's up to the GOP to make the next move.
The Obama administration says the Republicans have to accept higher taxes rates on the wealthy as part of any budget agreement; Republicans say the White House has to be more specific about spending cuts, including entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
After Dec. 31, the parties face the "fiscal cliff," a series of tax hikes and budget cuts that would affect all Americans, and perhaps tip the economy back into recession.
Mike Allen of Politico, citing unnamed sources, writes that "top officials in both parties says chances are increasing that Congress may have to return in the days after Christmas to finish work on a cliff-hanger deal."
Adds Allen: "Christmas is on a Tuesday, and Congress may bring back its city-within-a-city for the last few days of that week -- ahead of the cliff deadline, Mon.., Dec. 31. We had been predicting a deal would pass on Sun., Dec. 23, getting everyone home for vacation.
"But both sides hardened their positions last week, and we're hearing the Republican inclination to cave has lessened, or at least been postponed."
To be continued.