this story comes courtesy of theAssociated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The end game at hand, the White House and Senate leaders made a final stab at compromise Friday night to prevent middle-class tax increases from taking effect at the turn of the new year and possibly block sweeping spending cuts as well.
“I’m optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time,” President Barack Obama said at the White House after meeting for more than an hour with top lawmakers from both houses.
Surprisingly, after weeks of postelection gridlock, Senate leaders sounded even more bullish.
The Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said he was “hopeful and optimistic” of a deal that could be presented to rank-and-file lawmakers as early as Sunday, a little more than 24 hours before the year-end deadline.
Said Majority Leader Harry Reid: “I’m going…
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