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As new year approaches, fiscal cliff talks resume Friday

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President Obama is expected to meet with congressional leaders today at the White House. But many are not optimistic they will reach a deal to prevent the U.S. economy from going over the fiscal cliff.

If no compromise is reached in the next few days, automatic tax increases and spending cuts will kick in on January 1.

“This year Mr. President, the American people are waiting for the ball to drop, but it’s not going to be a good drop,” said Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Obama returned from his Hawaii vacation early and the Senate is back as well. The House returns by Sunday.

money“We’ll see what the President has to propose. Members on both sides of the aisle will review it, and then we’ll decide how best to proceed. Hopefully there is still time for an agreement of some kind that saves the taxpayers from a wholly preventable economic crisis,” said Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Democrats want to extend tax cuts for everyone except those making more than 250 thousand dollars a year. But many Republicans are against any tax increases. Both sides blame each other for the stalemate.

If lawmakers don’t reach a deal by the January 1st, some economists worry it could lead to another recession.

CNN CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT