The House of Representatives will return Sunday night. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)  told Republicans on a conference call that they should come back to Washington and be prepared to act on any bill passed by the Senate on Sunday evening. The House may be in session through Jan. 2; the new Congress takes office on Jan. 3. 

The House met briefly Thursday to abide by the constitutional requirement that it hold regular meetings while the Senate is in session. No legislative business was conducted during that pro forma session.

"Some of us are here in this chamber today but quite frankly all of us should be here," Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told the sparse crowd, in reference to the approaching "fiscal cliff" deadline.

Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) thanked Hoyer for his speech, saying he was "saddened that it came in a session without substance." 

President Obama returned to Washington on Thursday in an effort to jump-start the fiscal cliff talks. He made calls from Hawaii late Wednesday to Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). 

Boehner has said the Senate must move first, by acting on a bill passed by the House in August extending all the Bush tax cuts. He had previously indicated that he would not call his members back unless the Senate acted.