US lawmakers play waiting game with 'fiscal cliff' deadline in sight
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) With only a week left before a deadline for the United States to go over a "fiscal cliff," lawmakers are playing a waiting game in the hope that someone will produce a plan to avoid harsh budget cuts and higher taxes for most Americans from New Year's Day.
Though Republicans and Democrats have spent the better part of a year describing a plunge off the cliff as a looming catastrophe, the nation's capital showed no outward signs of worry, let alone impending calamity.
The White House has set up shop in Hawaii, where President Barack Obama is vacationing.
The Capitol was deserted on Monday and the Treasury Department - which would have to do a lot of last-minute number-crunching with or without a deal - was closed.