(NECN/NBC News: Danielle Leigh) - President Barack Obama and lawmakers return to Washington Thursday with just five days left to avert the fiscal cliff.
All eyes will be on the Senate after House republicans said it's up to Senate leadership to reach a deal.
Another day and another stand-off, this time House Speaker John Boehner hinting he may not even bring house members back to town until the Senate comes up with a passable plan.
This as President Obama leaves his tropical retreat in Hawaii for a wintry Washington as tension on Capitol Hill is on high.
"I don't see how you could hammer out any kind of a grand bargain or large plan involving tax reform and entitlement changes in a matter of days," said Jared Bernstein from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Serious doubt is setting in as even Starbucks is getting involved, writing "come together" on its cups.
Speaker John Boehner says he's sitting this round out after failing to get enough House Republicans to support his own plan just before Christmas.
That leaves it up to Majority Leader Harry Reid and the rest of the Senate to find a passable solution.
Aides say Reid's plan would avoid tax increases for people making less than $250,000, eliminate some big spending cuts and restore unemployment benefits.
Without a deal, Bush era tax cuts will expire January 1 and deep spending cuts will set in.