Nightly News | November 29, 2012
>>> cliffhanger, that took a few twists and turns on capitol hill today. nbc's kelly o'donnell has more on the update.
>> reporter: good evening, brian, remember the optimism coming from both sides in the days after the election? well, last night, speaker john boehner spoke an hour on the phone. today, the optimism hit a snag. and we can tell you there are some changes going on in the mood as they reverted to their default position, a stalemate.
>> reporter: treasury secretary tim geithner met top republicans and democrats about the fiscal crisis. but john boehner came out saying that the white house has not come up with a strategy critical to votes.
>> i am disappointed where we are and what has happened over the last couple weeks. but going over the fiscal cliff is serious business.
>> reporter: any real deal-making is the stuff of quiet conversations at meetings. they used high stakes diplomacy regarding the conversation.
>> i thought the conversation was very direct. and as always, i appreciate directness.
>> reporter: while the senate majority leader, harry reid , was very blunt about being pessimistic.
>> i don't understand his brain, you should ask him.
>> reporter: there were mixed comments from others.
>> i hope they get it, more than i did before the election.
>> of course i'm nervous, you never know what politicians are going to do.
>> reporter: democrats, still lifted by their election success, argued that they chose higher tax rates for wealthy americans as part of any plan to cut the deficit. and say republicans will have to give in.
>> did speaker john boehner get the message? because the message was work together.
>> they're not going to openly concede on this point this far out from the deadline, but they see the handwriting on the wall .
>> reporter: late today, gop sources said that they have some details about the proposal brought here from tim geithner. they say the white house is offering $1.6 trillion in tax increases over ten years, 400 billion in cuts coming later. and no new proposals dealing with entitlement reform. republicans say for them, a nonstarter.
>> kelly o'donnell, another cold night