OutFront tonight: let there be light.
Finally, some bulbs turned on in Washington this evening; unfortunately, they were all on the Congressional Christmas tree outside the U.S. capitol.
And while some of our lawmakers took some time to come celebrate together, they still aren't showing any spark when it comes to negotiating a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Today President Obama responded to the proposal House Speaker John Boehner put on the table yesterday, calling it "out of balance" in a TV interview, echoing what Republicans said when they say the President's offer last week.
So now what? Now that there are competing deals, does everyone get together and talk this thing out? Not likely, according to a senior Republican aide who told CNN there has been absolutely zero communication between the two sides today.
As for Boehner and Obama, they saw each other at a White House holiday party last night, but while other lawmakers waited in line to get their photo with the President, multiple sources from both sides of the aisle tell CNN that Boehner wasn't among them.
So much for holiday cheer.
Now, there wasn't total silence in Washington today. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid spoke up, but unfortunately in the form of a swipe at Boehner, guessing that the Speaker is not in control of his caucus.
That disconnect within the GOP was certainly in the spotlight elsewhere today, as Tea Party leader Senator Jim DeMint called Boehner's plan a form of "conceding" and issued a press release re-framing the offer as job-killing $800 billion tax hike.
So Boehner gets rejected from the White House, which wants another $800 billion in actual tax hikes, and by the right wing of his own party, which wants no tax hikes. He responded to the dissension today by stripping four House Republicans of their key committee assignments, all of whom have opposed his leadership in the past.
Outfront tonight is one Republican leader in the House who himself has been out of step with Boehner in recent days by suggesting the immediate extension of Bush Tax Cuts for those making under $250K as part of a deal – Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the deputy majority whip in the House. CLICK THROUGH TO SEE THE INTERVIEW