President Obama was in the Oval Office late Tuesday night as the House finished voting on the "fiscal cliff" deal. After praising the passage, he left for Hawaii to resume a vacation with his family. Aude Guerrucci/Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden make a statement regarding the passage of the fiscal cliff bill in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House late Tuesday evening. Charles Dharapak/AP hide caption

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The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

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NPR's coverage of President Obama's comments on the "fiscal cliff" talks

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House Speaker John Boehner arrives at the White House on Friday for talks with President Obama and congressional leaders aimed at avoiding the "fiscal cliff." Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Congressional Leaders Hopeful As Fiscal Cliff Deadline Nears

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"I'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time," the president said after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Friday. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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Obama: 'The American People Are Watching What We Do Here'

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"The hour for immediate action is here. It is now," President Barack Obama said of a potential budget deal, after meeting with congressional leaders Friday. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks toward his office after speaking on the Senate floor on Capitol Hill. McConnell and other congressional leaders will meet with President Obama Friday. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., addresses reporters about ongoing discussions about the so-called fiscal cliff on Dec. 18. Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Will the lights be on late at the White House for the next few nights, or will talks about the "fiscal cliff" be less than dramatic? Larry Downing /Reuters /Landov hide caption

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A retail store at the CambridgeSide Galleria mall in Cambridge, Mass., advertises holiday sale, Monday, Dec. 24, 2012. Michael Dwyer/AP hide caption

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House Speaker John Boehner holds a press conference at the Capitol on Friday. The night before, he did not have enough backing from his own party to pass his fiscal cliff legislation. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the Capitol on Wednesday. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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