ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: President Barack Obama held out hope for a last-minute agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts after a meeting with congressional leaders, scolding Congress for leaving the problem unresolved until the eleventh hour.
"The hour for immediate action is here," he told reporters at the White House. "I'm modestly optimistic that an agreement can be achieved," he said.
Obama says time for action on fiscal cliff is here (1:37)
Dec. 28 - U.S. President Obama says the time for action on the fiscal cliff is here; but calls for back up vote if efforts fail. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). ( Transcript )