Baucus: Cliff talks 'starting to gel'

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said Friday activity on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff has picked up and proposals are flying in from all sides ahead of a 3 p.m. meeting of congressional leaders at the White House.

“Things are starting to gel a little bit. I don’t know if it’s sufficient. It depends on 3 p.m.,” he told reporters at the Capitol.

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Baucus said his committee has “run a lot of numbers” and that there are “a lot of proposals from a lot of sides.”

He wouldn’t describe them, however.

“There are a lot of proposals floating around. I’ve got one in my pocket,” Baucus said, pointing inside his jacket.

Asked if he saw hope for a last-minute agreement, he replied: “I do, because there’s such pressure. People want to find a solution. We know how hard it is, but we’re up against a deadline, and senators don’t want to be embarrassed by their inability to come up with an answer. But it may not happen.”