December 28, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says "the hour for immediate action is here" on a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.
The president says he remains "optimistic" that an agreement can be reached in Congress before a looming year-end deadline to avoid tax increases and spending cuts.
If Congress can't reach a deal, the president says Congress should allow a vote on a basic package that would preserve tax cuts for middle-class Americans while extending unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless and working toward a foundation for a broader deal.
The president says an hourlong meeting Friday with congressional leaders was "good and constructive."
Senate leaders say they hope to reach a compromise that could be presented to lawmakers by Sunday, little more than 24 hours before the deadline.
The Newsplex attempted to interview 5th District Congressman Robert Hurt about the cliff this week, but instead he released this statement:
"I remain committed to supporting measures that will keep all Americans' taxes low as we work on our top priorities of cutting wasteful spending to get our economy back on track and getting the people of the 5th District back to work."
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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