Following today's "fiscal cliff" meeting at the White House between President Obama and Democratic and Republican congressional leadership, President Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks at 5:45 PM ET. Here's a live video feed:
2:46 PM PT: Harry Reid announced on the Senate floor that he planned on reconvening the Senate back on Sunday at around 1:00 PM ET. Reid didn't guarantee that a deal would be ready, but he said he has "hope" that something would be on the table. He also said he expected a vote somewhat after 2:00 PM ET, followed by a caucus meeting, after which Reid said it would be clear whether or not a deal would be possible.
2:49 PM PT: As I said earlier, my read on the silence of leaders directly following the meeting was that while they didn't have a deal in hand, they also weren't interested in attacking each other—suggesting that they are trying to get a deal together.
2:51 PM PT: Here comes the president.
2:52 PM PT: Obama says he still wants to get a grand bargain done, but "the hour for immediate action is here"—referring to expiring middle-class tax cuts.
2:54 PM PT: Calls meeting "good and constructive ... I'm optimistic" we might be able to avoid tax hike. Says Reid and McConnell are working on a deal now, but if a deal is not accomplished, Obama will ask Reid to bring a vote to the floor a package that would extend the middle-class tax cuts as well as unemployment benefits.
2:56 PM PT: "We've got to this done ... I just want to repeat, we had a constructive meeting today." Obama sounds like he's wrapping up. Again highlights his request for a straight up-or-down vote on extending tax cuts and unemployment benefits.
2:58 PM PT: Basically, Obama is saying that if there is no deal, if Boehner and McConnell don't allow a vote, he's going to go to town on them—that he's prepared to use the entire weight of the presidency to hold them accountable for being obstructionists. And don't forget: he's got the inauguration and the state of the union to follow through on his threat.
3:04 PM PT: My insta-analysis: I was plenty critical of the way Obama put Social Security on the table, but I saw none of that weakness in today's comments. He's got Boehner and McConnell in a tough spot, and he seems to know it. It's not that Obama was doing saber rattling, exactly. It's that he wasn't pleading with them. He was prepared for the possibility that congressional Republicans would fail to act, but he was going to do everything in his power to push them into action.