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President Barack Obama announced on Friday he is still “ready and willing” to get a package done to avert the fiscal cliff, the latest development in an ongoing battle to reach an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff before the new year.

“As of today I am still ready and willing to get a comprehensive package done,” Obama said, specifically urging lawmakers to craft a deal that would protect middle-class Americans from a tax hike set to be implemented if no deal is met.

Obama said he spoke with GOP House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Friday, asking the congressional leaders to come up with a smaller fiscal package in the next 10 days.

“Now is not the time for more self-inflicted wounds, certainly not coming from Washington,” Obama said.

The announcement comes less than 24 hours after House Republican rebels thwarted Boehner’s plan to prevent tax increases for all but those making over a million dollars a year.

“While we may have not been able to get the votes last night to avert 99.81 percent of the tax increases, I don’t think – they weren’t taking that out on me,” Boehner said when asked Friday if he was worried about his speakership. “They were dealing with the perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/obama-fiscal-cliff_n_2348215.html

Article Courtesy of The Huffington Post

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