Senate not likely coming back

Senate leaders announced early Tuesday morning that they were done voting for this session and the floor was remaining open only to adopt a final measure on disaster aide for victims of Hurricane Sandy, a procedural action that would not require Senators to attend. 

If the House were to amend the Senate's bill to aver the worst of the "fiscal cliff," as advocated by some Republicans, the Senate would be exceedingly unlikely to take up the House changes before this Congress ends -- and the process must begin anew -- on Thursday. 

 If there is no agreement by the end of the current Congress at noon on Thursday, negotiations would have to start over in the next Congress.

Rosalind Helderman is a political enterprise and investigations reporter for the Washington Post.
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Elizabeth Ward · January 1, 2013