(REUTERS) — With only a week left before a deadline for the United States to go over a "fiscal cliff," lawmakers played a waiting game on Monday in the hope that someone will produce a plan to avoid harsh budget cuts and higher taxes for most Americans from New Year's Day.
Though Republicans and Democrats have spent the better part of a year describing a plunge off the cliff as a looming catastrophe, the nation's capital showed no outward signs of worry, let alone impending calamity.
The White House has set up shop in Hawaii, where President Barack Obama is vacationing.
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The Capitol was deserted and the Treasury Department - which would have to do a lot of last-minute number-crunching with or without a deal - was closed.