WASHINGTON (CNN) - House GOP sources said Monday afternoon the House is increasingly unlikely to vote on any fiscal cliff package until New Year's Day, after the midnight deadline and after tax rates have technically already gone up.
The reason is partly about process, but the benefit is political.
House GOP sources said the main reason the House is not likely to vote before the deadline is because the deal is not yet done, and it still has to go through the Senate-which takes time.
GOP leaders prefer to vote in broad daylight, sources said, instead of in the middle of the night.
"There is no difference in voting at 2 a.m. than tomorrow at 4 p.m.," one of the GOP sources said.
GOP sources admitted there is an added benefit to the Senate's delay: taxes would already be up, so lawmakers could argue that they are voting for tax cuts, as opposed to tax increases.
One GOP source also said that may help get more House Republicans to vote for the deal.
"I wouldn't overestimate it, but a handful may be the difference we need," the source said.
Publicly, House Republican leaders and aides say they remain in a holding pattern until details are released from negotiations between Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, and members are being told to stick around the Capitol.