President Obama reiterated in a press conference Monday that he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling. But Republicans say they want dollar-for-dollar spending cuts, and some are willing to threaten default.
Vice President Joe Biden is leading the gun-control task force and also recently sealed the fiscal-cliff deal. It's possible that his old-school, backslapping style of politicking may be coming back in vogue.
The "fiscal cliff", which was to be the ultimate forcing mechanism, instead became something of legislative self-parody, Gleckman writes.
With a series of fiscal deadlines approaching, some Republicans in Congress say they're ready to shut down the government to get real spending cuts, a reprise of the famous shutdowns of 1995.