FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2012, file photo, President Barack Obama acknowledges House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio while speaking to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, as he hosted a meeting of the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress to discuss the deficit and economy. Admnistration officials say President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met Sunda, Dec. 9, 2012, at the White House to discuss the ongoing negotiations over the impeding "fiscal cliff." Spokesmen for both Obama and Boehner said the two men agreed to not release details of the conversation, but emphasized that the lines of communication remain open. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says he is "ready and willing" to get a big package done to deal with the "fiscal cliff" and says there's no reason not to protect middle-class Americans from tax increases.
Obama says he spoke Friday with House Speaker John Boehner and met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He says Congress should pass a plan to extend tax breaks for the middle class and extend unemployment benefits.
Obama says no one can get 100 percent of what they want and there are "real consequences" to how they deal with the across-the-board tax increases and steep spending cuts scheduled to kick in Jan. 1. Economists fear the combination could deliver a blow to the U.S. economy.
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