NEW INFO: Obama Remarks On Fiscal Cliff

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 the middle-class from tax increases.

Obama says he spoke today 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.

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President Barack Obama is meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to discuss a way to avoid the fiscal cliff. The president plans to make remarks at the White House following their meeting.

A White House official says that Obama and Reid are discussing the next steps needed to avoid across-the-board tax increases and steep spending cuts scheduled to kick in on Jan. 1. Economists fear the combination could deliver a blow to the U.S. economy.

The meeting comes a day after House Speaker John Boehner abandoned efforts to pass his own proposal in the House to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

Obama and Boehner had been negotiating a large deficit reduction package with tax increases and spending cuts, but those talks hit a standstill with only days to find a resolution.

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