Lawmakers offer little hope of deal averting "fiscal cliff"

Congressional leaders said there is little hope of coming up with a budget compromise in time to prevent the "fiscal cliff" from automatically taking effect Jan. 1. U.S. lawmakers and party aides said the flurry of last-minute activity has more to do with shifting blame for failure to avert the fiscal crisis than any effort to prevent it. The House of Representatives will meet Sunday to act immediately on any eleventh hour deal.

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