At stake in the negotiations, according to a number of economists, is the fate of a still fragile U.S. economy that could be pushed back into a recession by the broad tax hikes and automatic $110 billion cuts to domestic and military spending spelled out by the "fiscal cliff" legislation.
Aides for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said no details on the negotiations were expected until at least early afternoon when the Senate convenes a session at 1 p.m. ET.
"We've been trading paper all day, and the talks continue into the evening," McConnell told reporters Saturday night. "We've been in discussions all day. We'll let you know as soon as we have some news to make."