US President Barack Obama hopeful of 'fiscal cliff' deal
US President Barack Obama says he is "modestly optimistic" that a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" is possible, after a last-ditch White House meeting.
Mr Obama said Senate leaders were working to craft a bill that could win approval in both chambers of Congress.
But if a compromise was not reached, the president said he would ask for a quick vote on preventing tax rises.
Ben Wright reports from Washington.
29 Dec 2012