President Barack Obama said Friday that he is still "ready and willing to get a comprehensive package done" to avert the fiscal cliff, which is now just 10 days away. At a news conference, as many members of Congress were leaving Washington for the holidays, Obama said that he had earlier spoken to both House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and that he still feels like a compromise is "an achievable goal." Earlier, Boehner had a much less optimistic message. "How we get there, God only knows," said Boehner, referring Friday to the increasingly complicated attempts to beat the Jan. 1 deadline and head off the perilous combination of across-the-board tax hikes and deep spending cuts that threaten to send the economy into recession. His remark came after a conservative revolt forced Boehner to unexpectedly shelve a vote late Thursday on his "Plan B" legislation, which would keep Bush-era tax cuts for those who make under $1 million. The move was intended to give Boehner leverage against Obama and Senate Democrats in final fiscal cliff negotiations. Boehner’s failure to get the measure through the GOP-controlled House was seen as a major defeat, The Associated Press reported.
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