Speaker of the House John Boehner’s Thursday call for the House to reconvene on Sunday raised the possibility that it would do something it has not done in over 40 years: take action on legislation on the last day of the year.
Reuters reported late Thursday that Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., were scheduled to meet with Obama on Friday to discuss once again possible options to avoid the fiscal cliff—the double whammy of spending cuts and a return to higher tax rates that is scheduled to hit the American public if an agreement is not reached.
Boehner has summoned House members back for a 6:30 PM Sunday session, a rarity in itself. The House could then remain in session till January 2, according to a tweet sent by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor; that’s the last day of the current Congress. House members went on recess a week ago and have not yet returned.
Expectations were not high for the presidential meeting or for the House recall, and it is believed that lawmakers are expecting instead to put off dealing with the fiscal cliff till January. Market analysts also seemed geared toward a 2013 action, with Daiwa Securities economist Emily Nicols pointing out in a report that the House wasn’t coming back for another two days and “markets still expect a deal even if it does go into January.” However, McConnell said Thursday that he had spoken with Obama and expected a new proposal.