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A Holly, Un-jolly Congressional Christmas?

<span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; ">Lawmakers are once again threatening to stay in session as long as it takes during the holiday season.</span>

WASHINGTON -- Pick your metaphor: coal-stuffed stocking, Mr. Grinch, nice-and-naughty list. Lawmakers are once again threatening to stay in session as long as it takes during the holiday season.

In a message to House members today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., warned members that they would not be going home for the year until the fiscal cliff has been addressed.

Capitol Hill workmen roll up the carpet used by VIP's after the Capitol Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on December 4, 2012 on the West Front Lawn of the US Capitol in Washington.

"Members are further reminded that the House will not adjourn the 112th Congress until a credible solution to the fiscal cliff has been found," Cantor said.

The warning comes as the House leaves town today after the Republican leadership canceled Thursday's session, leaving only three currently-scheduled days left on the 2012 legislative calendar to avert the fiscal cliff. GOP leaders themselves will remain camped out in D.C. in case there is new movement on the negotiations, and rank-and-file members have been instructed to expect more added legislative days later in month.

With the fiscal cliff earning everything from doomsday predictions to despairing acceptance from commentators, it's no surprise that Hill leaders are invoking the ghosts of Christmastime sessions past to urge movement in the negotiations. Senate veterans have the memory fresh in their minds after an unusual 2009 Christmas Eve Senate vote on the Obama-backed health care bill.

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