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After a nice long holiday weekend, President Obama and members of Congress suddenly remembered that they never took care of that fiscal cliff thing that happens in just six days. The President will end his holiday vacation early, leaving his family behind in Hawaii and heading to Washington on Wednesday night  in order to resume work on budget negotiations. Congress will also return to work on Thursday, giving the two sides just five days (including two weekend days and New Year's Eve) to strike a deal before taxes go up on everyone in America—among other economic disasters.

Heading home early is as much about the appearance as it is about any actual progress. Americans might have overlooked a little golf and family time during the Christmas holiday, but it's not a good look to be hanging out on a Hawaiian beach when everyone's financial future is on the line. According to reports, the President and House Speaker John Boehner have not spoken directly for days and there has been almost no movement since Boehner's aborted "Plan B" vote last week. There are plenty of predictions about how the next few days will pan out, but it does appear that there will at least be one last ditch effort to salvage a solution (even a temporary one) before January 1.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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