Durbin: There’s ‘still a chasm’ in cliff talks

December 30, 2012

The Senate's second-ranking Democrat said on Sunday morning that there is substantial daylight between Democratic and Republican leaders in the ongoing negotiations over the "fiscal cliff," but stopped short of saying a deal could not get done. 

"I think there still is a chasm there," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on CBS News's "Face The Nation." "There is work to be done and not that much time left."

While he acknowledged the remaining obstacles in the talks, Durbin said reaching a last minute deal wasn't impossible. "It's happened before and it could happen again," he said. 

Senate leaders worked into Saturday night to try to strike a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," a combination of tax increases and spending cuts set to begin early next year. The leaders set a 3 p.m. Sunday deadline for securing a deal. 

Appearing on the same program, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said he believed leaders were still far apart, adding that he hasn't heard much from Senate GOP leadership about the progress of the talks. 

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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