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KARL (voice-over): Good morning, and welcome to a special edition of "This Week."
OBAMA: The hour for immediate action is here.
KARL: There's no doubt about that. With less than two days before America plunges over the fiscal cliff, lawmakers are finally saying, "Let's make a deal."
MCCONNELL: I'm hopeful and optimistic.
REID: Whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect and some people aren't going to like it.
KARL: So what will the imperfect solution look like? And even if there is a deal, will it be able to pass? And why does it always come to this?
OBAMA: This is deja vu all over again.
KARL: We'll ask our headliners, from the Senate, Democrat Chuck Schumer and Republican Jon Kyl, from the House, Democrat Chris Van Hollen and Republican Raul Labrador, in our powerhouse roundtable and all the week's politics, with former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Todd Purdum of Vanity Fair, and Maggie Haberman of Politico.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos. Reporting from the Newseum in Washington, chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.
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KARL: You are looking at live pictures of Capitol Hill. Over the next 12 hours, what happens there or what doesn't happen will cut to the very heart of your financial future and the fate of our struggling economy.
Good morning. I'm Jonathan Karl with a special edition of "This Week." George is off for the holidays.
The world is watching and waiting to see what happens here today in Washington. At this hour, congressional leaders are working to find common ground, desperate for some sort of compromise. My sources tell me this morning the odds of a deal are still no better than 50/50.
The Senate will convene today at 1:00 p.m., the House back in at 2:00 p.m. Stock markets around the world are on edge, the Dow down five days in a row, falling nearly 160 points Friday, and early indications are those losses could be much worse if there is no deal. Consumers are jittery, too, their confidence in the economy plunging for the second straight month, falling to its lowest level since August.
So that's where we begin. Let's get the latest from two top Senate leaders. Joining us now, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona.
So, gentlemen, do we have a deal?
SCHUMER: Well, there are certainly no breakthroughs yet between Senator McConnell and Senator Reid, but there's a real possibility of a deal. I've been a legislator for 37 years, and I've watched how these things work. On these big, big agreements, they almost always happen at the last minute. Neither side likes to give up its position. They eyeball each other until the very end. But then, each side, realizing that the alternative is worse, comes to an agreement. So while an agreement is hardly a certainty, I certainly wouldn't rule it out at this last minute.
KARL: Give me your odds. I said 50/50...
SCHUMER: I think a little higher than that.
KARL: Senator Kyl?