U.S. leaders 'not near finish line' on fiscal cliff talks - White House

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:01am IST

U.S. President Barack Obama steps aboard Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington November 17, 2012. Obama is traveling to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia. REUTERS/Jason Reed

U.S. President Barack Obama steps aboard Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington November 17, 2012. Obama is traveling to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with congressional leaders in the week after Thanksgiving to discuss ways to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts combined with massive spending reductions, the White House said on Saturday.

"Everyone expressed the desire to reach an agreement that reflected the shared goal of achieving a balanced approach to deficit reduction and that enabled the economy to continue to grow and create jobs," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters about Obama's meeting with top congressional leaders on Friday.

"There are a number of steps that I'm sure the president and leaders will consider but I don't want to characterize what that process will look like because we're not near the finish line, by any means," he said. (Reporting By Jeff Mason; Writing by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Bill Trott)

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