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All eyes on them, Senate leaders seek fiscal deal

(AP) All eyes on them, Senate leaders seek fiscal deal
By JIM KUHNHENN and DAVID ESPO
Associated Press
WASHINGTON
Senate leaders are rushing to assemble a last-ditch agreement to avoid middle-class tax increases and possibly delay steep spending cuts in an urgent attempt to find common ground after weeks of postelection gridlock.

An impatient President Barack Obama is pressing top lawmakers to cut a deal, even one that falls short of the ambitions he and congressional leaders may once have harbored for a bigger deficit reduction package.

Following a White House meeting Friday among Obama and congressional leaders, aides to the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada began racing against the clock for a bipartisan bargain. Senators could vote on a plan as early as Sunday.

The deadline for avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff is year's end.

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