The Straits Times
Published on Dec 28, 2012

Obama to meet congressional leaders for last-minute talks on fiscal cliff deal


WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has asked congressional leaders to convene on Friday at the White House for last-minute talks on a "fiscal cliff" deal that avoids automatic tax increases and broad spending cuts that threaten the economy's nascent recovery.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the leaders are expected to meet with the president just four days before the government goes over the so-called fiscal cliff if Congress and Mr Obama do not act.

The meeting would be the first time Mr Obama has huddled with all of the top members of Congress since Nov 16 and would represent the last hope for a deal before the new year.

Mr Obama spoke to each leader individually on Wednesday before returning home early from his Christmas holiday in Hawaii.