But the Obama administration has stood firm. Officials have demanded wealthier Americans bear more of a tax burden. As to the House-approved spending cuts bill, White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage dismissed the GOP alternative as "nothing more than a dangerous diversion" for eliminating federal funding by negatively impacting millions of seniors, disabled individuals and poor and at-risk children.
The fiscal cliff talks are keeping Congress in Washington beyond the holidays.
Reid noted that Senate work would be delayed for a memorial service Friday in Washington and the funeral Sunday in Hawaii for Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye, who died this week. The Senate will return to work on December 27, two days after Christmas, Reid added.