Senator Reid says little progress made on "fiscal cliff" talks

WASHINGTON Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:07pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday that he is disappointed that there has been "little progress" among Democratic and Republican lawmakers as they try to reach a deal to avoid the year-end "fiscal cliff."

Reid, a Democrat, told reporters that not much headway has been made since congressional leaders met with President Barack Obama on November 16.

"They talked some happy talk about doing revenues, but we only have a couple weeks to get something done," Reid said about Democrats' negotiations with Republicans. "So we have to get away from the happy talk and start talking about specific things."

Despite his tone of frustration, Reid also said he is optimistic that lawmakers ultimately will reach a deal to avoid plunging off the fiscal cliff, a convergence of an estimated $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that threatens to trigger another recession.

"I'm extremely hopeful, and I do not believe that the Republicans are going to allow us to go over the cliff," Reid said.

(Reporting By Karey Wutkowski; Editing by Eric Beech)

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