Obama: "modestly optimistic" fiscal cliff deal can be reached

WASHINGTON Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:08pm EST

WASHINGTON Dec 28 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama held out hope for a last-minute agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts after a meeting with congressional leaders, scolding Congress for leaving the problem unresolved until the eleventh hour.

"The hour for immediate action is here," he told reporters at the White House. "I'm modestly optimistic that an agreement can be achieved," he said.

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