WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in Senate floor statements Friday evening that they would try to come up with a "fiscal cliff" compromise by Sunday that could be presented to their respective party caucuses.
Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said that a meeting Friday afternoon at the White House by congressional leaders and President Obama had been “constructive.”
McConnell (R-Ky.) said he was “hopeful and optimistic” about the outcome.
Their comments came after an hour-long negotiating session with Obama on how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Obama plans to speak at 5:45 p.m. Eastern time.
The president and the congressional leaders are trying to avert the economy-slowing combination of tax increases and spending cuts set to hit in the new year.
Reid, McConnell, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) emerged from the meeting separately, each avoiding the cameras and ignoring questions shouted by reporters.