White House and congressional officials warned their staffs that they may be spending the holidays at their desks in Washington, as both sides publicly refused to budge from their positions on taxes and spending.
Lawmakers from both parties expressed renewed pessimism yesterday about the prospects of reaching a deal before more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts start taking effect in January.
Democrats say Boehner’s unwillingness to let income tax rates increase for the top two percent of earners is hampering an agreement, while Republicans blame Obama’s refusal to offer additional spending cuts to programs like Medicare.
Business leaders kept up pressure for a compromise. Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama, met with financial services executives, including Daniel Och, chief executive of Och-Ziff Capital Management; Stefan M. Selig, executive vice chairman of global corporate and investment banking at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch; and Jonathan D. Gray, global head of real estate at Blackstone Group Management LLC.