BBC News with Neil Nunes
Leaders of the bitterly divided American Congress are making last-minute attempts to stop significant new spending cuts and tax rises automatically taking effect on January first. Both houses are ready for rare Sunday sessions. They are trying to prevent the United States economy from falling off what been dubbed the fiscal cliff, the automatic imposition of some $600bn worth of taxing increase and spending cuts dating back to the Bush era. From Washington Jonny Dymond.
One nation with a very divided government. President Obama and congress are grappling for a deal with just 36 hours before time runs out. If there is no deal, the press of failure could be high. The average American family will see that tax rise by more than $2,000 a year. As money sucked out the economy, a second American recession is thought likely to begin. And confidence in the American government around the world would plummet. Financial markets would probably take fright.