04:08 - Source: CNN
Fiscal cliff players gather later

The countdown continues with just four days to go. Not just to New Years Day, but to the day the country falls over the fiscal cliff—unless leaders in Washington can reach a deal to avoid it. Key lawmakers will attempt to do that in a high-stakes meeting later today at the White House. President Obama is meeting with the four congressional leaders—Boehner, Pelosi, Reid and McConnell—at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. But the rhetoric is only getting more angry and disconnected in these final moments. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat from Michigan, joins “Starting Point” with more live from D.C.

Sen. Stabenow believes that there is more bipartisan talk in the Senate than in the House. “We’re having a lot of very important, very good, positive conversations between Democrats and Republicans, I believe the president does. The tough part is in the House, where they have taken this very extreme position about protecting the wealthiest Americans at all costs, even holding middle class families hostage to do it. And that really isn’t rhetoric,” Sen. Stabenow says. “That’s what we’re seeing over and over again. We have one bottom line, and that is when we get all done, we gotta solve the problem and can’t be shifted onto the middle class one more time. Other than that, we want to sit down and continue to solve it.”