Washington (CNN) - Fiscal cliff negotiations between the staffs of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be led by David Krone, who is Reid's chief of staff, and Sharon Soderstrom, who is McConnell's.
Aides think these talks, which could start Friday night and carry on through Sunday, will be mostly done over the phone or via e-mail. There is a chance of some face-to-face meetings between Krone and Soderstrom if they think those would have value.
(CNN) - A bill providing billions of dollars of aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy passed the Senate late Friday, and senators from New York called on the House to take it up promptly.
If the House does not approve the $60.4 billion measure before the new Congress is sworn in Thursday, consideration would require the process to start over again.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama will make his first Sunday show appearance in more than three years this week, as he and congressional leaders are down to the wire on reaching a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.
His appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" will be his first Sunday show interview since September 2009, when he appeared on five networks to tout his health care law.
Washington (CNN) - A political summit on Friday at the White House left it to the Senate's top Democrat and Republican to work out a possible compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff, participants said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters that the next 24 hours would be "very important" toward efforts to lessen the harshest impacts of the fiscal cliff, a combination of automatic tax hikes and deep spending cuts due to take effect at the start of the new year.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said on Friday that he is "modestly optimistic" a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff can still be reached, but he warned that no one will get 100% of what they want.
Obama's full remarks, as transcribed by the White House, are below the jump.
New York (CNNMoney) - Standard & Poor's said Friday that the fiscal cliff gridlock in Washington is unlikely to spark an additional downgrade of the country's credit rating.
S&P made headlines in August of 2011 by knocking the U.S. down from AAA status to to AA+ following the political wrangling over the debt ceiling. At the time, the rating agency said the affair showed "America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable."
Washington (CNN) - Congressional leaders spoke Friday after meeting about the fiscal cliff with President Barack Obama at the White House.
Congressional leaders attending the meeting was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Vice President Joe Biden was to be in attendance, the White House said, and an administration official said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would attend as well.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama will make a statement on the just-concluded meeting with congressional leaders on the fiscal cliff, the White House said. He is scheduled to appear at 5:45 p.m. in the White House briefing room.
(CNN) - Several Democrats, including Sen. John Kerry, offered their endorsement Friday of Rep. Ed Markey in his planned bid to seek the Senate seat Kerry is expected to vacate.
"As Massachusetts' senior senator today and as a colleague of Ed Markey's for 28 years, I'm excited to learn of and support his decision to run for the United States Senate," Kerry wrote in a statement, which also noted he will likely soon hold a job which requires he remain "apolitical."
Houston (CNN) – George H.W. Bush is singing with doctors and nurses in the Houston hospital where he's been a patient for more than a month, according to the most recent update from the former president's spokesman.
"President Bush remains in the intensive care unit at Methodist Hospital, where he continues to improve," Jim McGrath wrote Friday. "The President is alert and, as always, in good spirits - and his exchanges with doctors and nurses now include singing. The Bushes thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes and, like their doctors, are cautiously optimistic that the current course of treatment will be effective."