The U.S. Capitol in Washington is seen at dawn, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. Leading lawmakers have expressed pessimism that a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" is close, despite increasing anxiety about a Dec. 31 deadline to stop the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and separate across-the-board spending cuts that are the result of Washington's failure to complete a deficit-reduction (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Associated Press
The U.S. Capitol in Washington is seen at dawn, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. Leading lawmakers have expressed pessimism that a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" is close, despite increasing anxiety about a Dec. 31 deadline to stop the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and separate across-the-board spending cuts that are the result of Washington's failure to complete a deficit-reduction  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The U.S. Capitol in Washington is seen at dawn, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. Leading lawmakers have expressed pessimism that a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" is close, despite increasing anxiety about a Dec. 31 deadline to stop the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and separate across-the-board spending cuts that are the result of Washington's failure to complete a deficit-reduction (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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