Welcome back to the Alley. Here are the early headlines.
Eleven former congressional leaders, including Dick Gephardt and Dennis Hastert, are calling on leaders to take united action on the fiscal cliff, they write in The Washington Post.
Few details are available after House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama talked over the phone on Wednesday, The Hill reports.
Two House Republicans whose committee seats were taken away this week, are complaining about the treatment, Politico reports.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blocked Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's effort to bring Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's fiscal cliff proposal for a vote.
McConnell met with House Republicans to persuade them to oppose measures that would reform the campaign finance system.