President Still Hopeful in Final Days Before ‘Cliff’

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By Jonathan Oh

WASHINGTON (ABC NEWS) -- Three days remain for Congress to pass a federal budget agreement that would avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” and today President Obama said he believes the House and Senate leadership can squeak out a deal in time.

In his weekly address, released this morning, the president said allowing the package of perilous tax increases and budget cuts set to take effect in the New Year “would be the wrong thing to do for our economy.”

“Congress can prevent it from happening if they act now,” he said. “Leaders in Congress are working on a way to prevent this tax hike on the middle class, and I believe we may be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time.”

The president was referring to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who were attempting to quickly fashion a deal that can pass both chambers of Congress. Although not mentioned specifically in the video, the two leaders and their House counterparts, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., met with the president and his staff at the White House Friday that left both parties’ leadership cautiously optimistic in public statements following the meeting.

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