By Daniel Strauss - 12/31/12 01:43 PM EST
"I think there is some good news. I mean the conversations continued late into the night. I think now there's a better than 50-50 chance that we will avoid the fiscal cliff by midnight tonight," Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said Monday morning on CNN's "Starting Point."
On Sunday, the parties raced to finalize a deal, as Republicans dropped a demand to reduce Social Security benefits and Democrats showed flexibility on tax rates. But both sides are still split on the estate tax and how to pay for offsetting the sequester.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Biden continued negotiations late into the night, according to the senator’s office.
Like Van Hollen, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) made a similar prediction on Sunday saying that chances are "a little higher" than 50-50 that legislators would reach a deal.