Official in Washington said the chances of Congress and the White House agreeing on a budget compromise in time to prevent the "fiscal cliff" from triggering automatic spending cuts and tax hikes on Jan. 1 are fading. Lawmakers and aides from both parties said the flurry of last-minute activity has more to do with shifting blame for failure than any serious attempt to reach a compromise. The House of Representatives will meet Sunday in an effort to head off a fiscal crisis that some economists say could send the U.S. back into recession.

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