PRESSURE MOUNTS FOR A SPENDING DEAL. Negotiators worked throughout the weekend in hopes of drafting a spending bill by Monday. Even if a deal does come together Congress will have to work quickly to move the legislation through the House and the Senate before the government runs out of cash on Dec. 11. Power Post has a look at where the talks stand today:

Aides said the talks over the spending and tax packages had become increasingly intertwined as House and Senate leaders work to craft a broad deal that would allow both parties to claim some policy victories but a broader deal could prove difficult.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) told reporters on Thursday that his goal is to have a deal completed by Monday so that the legislation could pass by the Friday deadline. If a deal is not completed by early Monday, leaders will have to begin seriously weighing a short-term continuing resolution to avert a shutdown while negotiations continue.

TAX EXTENDERS COULD COME ALONG FOR THE RIDE WITH A SPENDING DEAL. Many in Congress hoped the spending bill could move alongside a deal to extend dozens of expired tax breaks. Those talks are still ongoing, but prospects were dim over the weekend for a sweeping agreement to make several breaks for businesses and low and moderate income workers permanent. The Wall Street Journal‘s Richard Rubin has details of where things stood on Friday:

The broad contours of a deal have been clear for at least a week. Republicans would get to make permanent some business tax breaks that lapsed at the end of 2014. Democrats and President Barack Obama would get to lock in extensions of low-income tax credits that expire at the end of 2017, after Mr. Obama’s term ends. Other miscellaneous breaks would get temporary extensions through 2016.
The hangups have been clear, too. Democrats have been pushing for indexing the $1,000 child tax credit for inflation and tax breaks for wind and solar energy, and some, particularly in the House, have been worried about the package being tilted too heavily toward businesses.

A SOFTENING HARD-LINE IN THE HOUSE? Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are infamous for refusing to negotiate, moderate or back down from fights with House leaders. The group helped oust former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and have threatened every major fiscal deal this year but WSJ’s Kristina Peterson reports that they may be easing up on new House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

The bloc of conservative House Republicans may well end up voting against the spending bill Mr. Ryan must maneuver through Congress by Friday to avoid a government shutdown. But the group, which tangled angrily with former House Speaker John Boehner over past spending bills, is taking a more moderated tone with his successor.
“All of us realize he’s in a situation that was not of his creation,” said Rep. Matt Salmon (R., Ariz.), noting that Mr. Ryan, of Wisconsin, himself referred to the spending bill as a “crap sandwich” in a meeting with fellow House Republicans last week.