Earlier I mentioned that the only possible way to avoid the fiscal cliff over a very short time frame was for the House to pass S. 3412, which already passed the Senate last July. It provides a one-year extension of the status quo, plus an AMT adjustment for 2012.
Today I learned from Tax Notes that such a path is technically impossible, because Majority Leader Reid never sent the paperwork to the House! Plus, there's that irritating constitutional requirement that tax legislation originate in the House. Usually some shell legislation is used to get around that, but that apparently wasn't done for S. 3412.
So, the only remaining path is identical legislation that has been brought to the House Ways and Means Committee. Evidently, if the House will pass that, the Senate will be available to re-pass it.
It would be another kick of the can down the road. My feeling is that both sides want to go over the cliff, if only they can be confident that the other side gets the blame.