Good Monday morning and welcome back. Take a look at what Congress is up to this week here. Now for the headlines from around the web.
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington will say in a speech on Monday that if Democrats don't get a "balanced" deal on taxes then she's willing to take the debate into next year, the Washington Post reports in a piece headlined "Democrats threaten to go over 'fiscal cliff' if GOP fails to raise taxes."
Roll Call looks at the 21 GOP senators who voted to block a tax-cut measure backed by Republican Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor. The report suggests that Republicans might be thawing in their stance on tax cuts.
Many Republicans argued then that the cuts would largely pay for themselves and should not be subject to pay-as-you-go rules, which they allowed to lapse. But trillion-dollar deficits appear to be tempering that philosophy among some Republicans, at least when it comes to new tax cuts such as the 20 percent, one-year tax break for most companies championed by Cantor.
Rep. Paul Ryan is actually able to turn "Capitol Hillian" jargon into everyday English, just one of the reasons, The Weekly Standard writes, he has become the "intellectual leader of the Republican Party."
The Hill sits down with Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, who admits that he's been to Boston but won't say if he's still in the running to be Mitt Romney running mate.