Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., prepares to announce a debt ceiling deal in July 2011. That deal laid the foundation for the across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect on New Year's Day, 2013. Harry Hamburg/AP hide caption

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Before The Showdown: The Long Road To The Fiscal Cliff

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NPR's Tamara Keith on 'Morning Edition'

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other Republican leaders on Tuesday in the Capitol. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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Steve Inskeep talks with Andrea Seabrook

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