No deal on the so-called "fiscal cliff" is expected in the Senate tonight. The Senate will be back in session tomorrow morning at 11am ET. The House comes back at 9am ET.
Earlier in the day, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced on the Senate floor that he was waiting for a response from Democrats to a GOP proposal made yesterday. He said he called Vice President Joe Biden to "jump start" the negotiations. "I'm willing to get this done. I need a dance partner."
In reply, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) acknowledged Sen. McConnell's "good faith" effort, but said "I don't have a counter-offer to make." Leader Reid said that he was working with the president and that a counter-proposal might be available later in the day. Shortly after words, Sen. Reid indicated that one of the issues holding back a Democratic counter-offer were proposed cuts to social security.
During the session, the Senators confirmed Carol Galante to be an Assistant Secretary at Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by a vote of 69 to 24.
Before voting began in the House, the leadership of the House Democratic Caucus spoke to reporters. Chairman John Larson (D-CT) said that the GOP leadership should bring up President Obama's "fiscal cliff" proposal if they cannot come to agreement in their own conference. Chair Larson said that Democrats would caucus everyday that the House is in session.
This morning, President Obama made a rare appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press." The President said he was "modestly optimistic" that an agreement, preventing across-the-board tax hikes and budget cuts, could found, but added "we don't yet see an agreement."
Responding to the President, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said the House "has passed legislation to avert the entire fiscal cliff, and the president has never called for the Senate to act on those bills in any way."