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story.lead_photo.caption House Speaker John Boehner (left) looks on as President Barack Obama speaks to reporters Friday at the White House before a meeting with congressional leaders on a framework for averting the “fiscal cliff.” - Photo by AP / CAROLYN KASTER

Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress emerged from their first budget meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House at midday Friday and jointly expressed confidence that the two parties will reach an agreement before the end of the year to avert economy rattling tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts.

Hill Leaders Voice Confidence in Debt Deal

Following a bipartisan meeting at the White House, congressional leaders expressed confidence that they can reach a deal with President Barack Obama to head off the "fiscal cliff." (By AP)
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Front Section, Pages 1 on 11/17/2012

Print Headline: Lawmakers optimistic after ‘fiscal cliff’ talks

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