Updated 12/29/2012 10:38 AM
Will a deal be made to avoid the fiscal cliff?
President Barack Obama says he is "modestly optimistic" that a deal will be made this weekend to avert the fiscal cliff. But as Erin Billups explains, after a meeting with bipartisan leaders Friday, the President said no one will get 100 percent of what they want.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The president met with Congressional leaders at the White House for a little over an hour Friday afternoon to negotiate a deal to avert the fiscal cliff and lawmakers seem to have emerged with a renewed sense of urgency and purpose to reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.
The President says the meeting was good and constructive and says he's modestly optimistic they can reach a deal. Obama says the Senate leaders, democrat Harry Reid and republican Mitch McConnell will take the lead and try and work out a bipartisan deal. But if they cannot reach an agreement, the President says both houses need to move forward with his plan that doesn't raise taxes on the middle class, presumably families making $250,000 or less annually, extends unemployment insurance and lays the groundwork for additional deficit reduction measures.
Obama said, "We're now at the last minute. And the American people are not going to have any patience for a politically self inflicted wound to our economy."
Both McConnell and Reid spoke about the meeting on the floor and the tone was noticeably different: No longer combative, which is what we saw Thursday. Both emphasized they will be working hard to bring forth some kind of proposal.
“We'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. So I'm hopeful and optimistic," McConnell said.
Reid said, "I'm going to do everything that I can. I'm confident Senator McConnell will do the same. But everybody, whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect and some people aren't going to like it."
The Senate leaders say they will determine whether they can move forward with a deal on the fiscal cliff this Sunday, when both the House and Senate are set to reconvene.