Ari ShapiroAri Shapiro is co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning newsmagazine.
"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.
Lauren Rae (left) and Olivia Marlow look at the ornaments in the Grand Foyer during the first viewing of the White House 2012 holiday decorations in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. This year's theme is "Joy to All."
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A campaign volunteer wears a button as President Obama speaks at a campaign event in Maumee, Ohio. Now that the election is over, the Obama team is trying to keep supporters engaged in the president's second term.
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