Washington, D.C. (WFRV) - President Obama and congressional leaders met this afternoon at the White House, trying to tackle the nation's impending fiscal cliff. While it wasn't enough time to develop a final proposal, lawmakers in the Senate are now carrying on the work of reaching a deal - that everyone can live with.
The president called the meeting "constructive" but reminded lawmakers, the deadline is fast approaching. "We're now at the point where in just four days every American's tax rates are scheduled to go up by law," said President Obama"
Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell returned to the Senate floor, pledging to work through the weekend. "We are engaged in discussions - in the hopes that we come forward as early as Sunday and we will have a recommendation," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"We're going to do the best we can with the caucuses we have and the country that's waiting for us to make a decision," echoed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Democratic and Republican leaders have agreed to extend jobless benefits and some tax increases -- but the income threshold is not yet clear. The president and Senate leaders are expressing optimism they'll get the job done. But in northeast Wisconsin, many have serious doubts.
"I don't think it's going to happen - I don't think it will happen, " said Larry Kuhl, who is frustrated by the process.
"They are acting like spoiled children and they each want their own way," said Beth Stewart. "They should be working together to do what's best for our country."
In case Senate leadership fails to deliver - the president has a backup plan. "If an agreement isn't reached in time, between Senator Reid and Senator McConnell, then I will urge Senator Reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote," said the president. That bare-bones bill would preserve tax cuts for the middle class and extend unemployment benefits. It would also lay a foundation for a broader deal to come.
Senator Reid warned it's a certainty - not everyone will like the deal he and Senator McConnell come up with. The House comes back in session on Sunday - giving lawmakers 24 hours to approve the plan - delivered from the Senate.