Reuters

Senate leaders work to avoid New Year's "fiscal cliff"

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (2nd L) walks with unidentified aides and security to his office at the U.S. Capitol after returning from a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mary Calvert

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (2nd L) walks with unidentified aides and security to his office at the U.S. Capitol after returning from a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mary Calvert
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U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement to reporters after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House in Washington December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement to reporters after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House in Washington December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters on his way to lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters on his way to lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
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U.S. President Barack Obama returns from Christmas visit in Hawaii to the White House in Washington, December 27, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Barack Obama returns from Christmas visit in Hawaii to the White House in Washington, December 27, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) arrives at the White House in Washington, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) arrives at the White House in Washington, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) departs after meeting with President Barack Obama (not pictured) and other members of Congress at the White House in Washington, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) departs after meeting with President Barack Obama (not pictured) and other members of Congress at the White House in Washington, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) departs after meeting with President Barack Obama (not pictured) and other members of Congress at the White House in Washington, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) departs after meeting with President Barack Obama (not pictured) and other members of Congress at the White House in Washington, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) departs after meeting with President Barack Obama (not pictured) and other members of Congress at the White House in Washington, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) departs after meeting with President Barack Obama (not pictured) and other members of Congress at the White House in Washington, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Senator John McCain (R-AZ) discusses the fiscal cliff negotiations with the media prior to a news conference on filibuster reform with Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) (not seen) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mary Calvert

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) discusses the fiscal cliff negotiations with the media prior to a news conference on filibuster reform with Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) (not seen) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mary Calvert
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U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) (L) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (R) go over their notes with an aide prior to a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) (L) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (R) go over their notes with an aide prior to a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
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U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) (L) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (R) go over their notes with an aide prior to a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) (L) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (R) go over their notes with an aide prior to a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
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The U.S. Capitol building is pictured as lawmakers returned from the Christmas recess in Washington December 27, 2012. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

The U.S. Capitol building is pictured as lawmakers returned from the Christmas recess in Washington December 27, 2012. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
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