Baucus: Cliff talks 'starting to gel'

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max BaucusMax BaucusGOP hasn’t reached out to centrist Dem senators Five reasons why Tillerson is likely to get through Business groups express support for Branstad nomination MORE (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.”