Washington, D.C. - Progress toward avoiding the fiscal cliff appears to be stalled - with the Senate's top Democrat accusing House Speaker John Boehner of standing in the way of a solution to the looking tax hikes and spending cuts.
Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday- Harry Reid accused Boehner of appearing to "care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on sound financial footing."
Reid said the House could easily have passed a plan approved by the White House, with a majority of Democratic votes and a few dozen Republican votes. But House leaders generally avoid doing that, because they might alienate the Republican caucus and jeopardize the speaker's job.
Also today, the White House says President Barack Obama made phone calls to Boehner, Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi before he left Hawaii for Washington yesterday.
As Obama flew back to Washington, even a stopgap solution seemed to be in doubt.