Progress toward avoiding the "fiscal cliff" seemed stalled Thursday, as the Senate's top Democrat accused Republican House Speaker John Boehner of acting in dictatorial ways that prevent a solution to looming tax hikes and spending cuts.
Lawmakers are engaged in a playground game of "who goes first," daring each political party to let the year end without resolving a Jan. 1 confluence of higher taxes and deep spending cuts that could rattle a recovering, but-still-fragile economy.
With a year-end deadline looming before the economy goes over the so-called fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama is cutting short his traditional Christmas holiday in Hawaii, planning to leave for Washington on Wednesday evening.
Efforts to save the nation from going over a year-end "fiscal cliff" were in disarray as lawmakers fled the Capitol for their Christmas break. "God only knows" how a deal can be reached now, House Speaker John Boehner declared.