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'Fiscal cliff' lurks behind Obama's schedule

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December 13, 2012 03:15 AM EST | AP

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is working on a blend of foreign and domestic issues, but none seemingly as urgent as his effort to strike a deal with congressional Republicans to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff at the end of the year.

But it's impossible to tell just what the president has planned on the fiscal front for Thursday. His public schedule notes only a meeting on national security issues in the morning and remarks to a Hanukkah reception in the Grand Foyer of the White House in the evening.

Obama has spoken by phone on a couple occasions with House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) and had the Ohio Republican over to the White House on Sunday afternoon. But Democrats and Republicans agree the two sides are far apart.