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Obama will return Wednesday to D.C. to tackle fiscal cliff

By CNN Staff
updated 8:10 AM EST, Wed December 26, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Obama leaving Hawaii on Wednesday, will be at the White House on Thursday
  • Members of Congress expected to return on Thursday
  • Observers will watch for Senate to take action after House vote fizzled last week
  • Obama, Republicans don't agree on how to prevent automatic tax increases

(CNN) -- President Barack Obama is ending his Hawaiian vacation Wednesday to make a late-hour bid to reach a fiscal-cliff deal before the year ends.

He will leave Honolulu Wednesday night and should be back in Washington on Thursday, the White House said. First lady Michelle Obama and their daughters will remain in Hawaii.

House and Senate members are expected to reconvene Thursday.

Obama and Republicans have been at loggerheads over how to prevent automatic tax increases for everyone and deep spending cuts that will be triggered in the new year without an agreement.

Small businesses fear fiscal cliff
GOP Rep.: I want fiscal cliff averted

With neither side showing any sign of blinking, the battlefield will probably shift to the Senate this week after GOP disarray in the House stymied any progress before Christmas.

According to multiple Democratic and Republican sources, no weekend conversations occurred between the White House and Senate leaders from either party or their aides.

The main dispute continues to be over taxes, specifically the demand by Obama and Democrats to extend most of the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush while allowing higher rates of the 1990s to return on top income brackets.

Republicans oppose any kind of increase in tax rates, and House Speaker John Boehner suffered the political indignity last week of offering a compromise that his colleagues refused to support.

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