December 30th, 2012
03:09 PM ET
1 year ago

McConnell, Reid point to fiscal stalemate

Washington (CNN) - Senate leaders indicated Sunday that talks to avert the fiscal cliff have come to gridlock, as the upper chamber convened for a special session in hopes of passing a deal by the end-of-the-year deadline.

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor he has placed a call to Vice President Joe Biden to see if "he could help jump-start negotiations on his side."

Sources confirmed that McConnell and Biden have spoken twice.

A Democratic source familiar with the talks told CNN lawmakers have hit a "major setback" in the negotiations because Republicans are now insisting that any fiscal cliff deal include "chained CPI," which Democrats consider a "poison pill." Chained CPI would change the way Social Security benefits are adjusted for inflation, effectively meaning Social Security recipients would receive less money over the years.

READ MORE: Source: Fiscal cliff talks see major setback

McConnell said he submitted his latest proposal at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

"I'm interested in getting a result here," he said. "There's no single issue that remains an impossible sticking point. The sticking point appears to be willingness, an interest, or frankly the courage to close the deal. I want everyone to know I'm willing to get this done, but I need a dance partner."

Following his remarks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke on the floor, saying he and his staff haven't been able to come up with a counterproposal.

"I had a conversation with the president and at this stage we're not able to make a counteroffer," Reid said.

As for McConnell's comments about working with Biden, Reid said, "I wish them well."

The majority leader added he will continue to work on another offer and will be able to make a new pitch "perhaps as the day wears on."

"I will say this: I think that the Republican leader has shown absolute good faith," Reid said. "It's just that we're apart on some pretty big issues."

– CNN's Dana Bash, Jessica Yellin And Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • Harry Reid • Mitch McConnell
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. mark/texas

    Too bad us common people arent allowed to run for office. education is a must but common sense is even more important when coupled with a desire and motivation to work for a common good that benefits all americans. im all for firing those who choose to sit on their worthless butts and put the shaft to the 98-99% of those who struggle to support their families and pay for the rich and famous lifestlyes of those who are supposed to leaders.

    December 31, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  2. Thomas

    Republican Leader Mitch McConnell did everything possible to make Obama a one term President .

    Read Lost !

    December 31, 2012 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  3. Teabags falling off cliffs

    "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

    >>>single most important thing!!!

    Hey Mitch, should have picked something more constructive and more important for our country.

    See you at the bottom of the cliff.

    December 31, 2012 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  4. yem

    It is sad to see that people in power like McConnell stay in power for so long. All they exude is negativity. And he doesn't care at all for the American people as long as the rich are taken care off.

    December 31, 2012 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
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