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Gray skies cover the U.S. Capitol in Washington as Congress closes down for the holiday without a compromise on the "fiscal cliff" threatening the U.S. economy, in Washington, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. Hopes for avoiding the "fiscal cliff" fell Friday after fighting among congressional Republicans cast doubt on whether any deal reached with President Barack Obama could win approval ahead of automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts kick in Jan. 1.

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No deal in sight as deadline for fiscal deal nears

Lawmakers are engaged in a playground game of "who goes first," daring each political party to let the year end without resolving a Jan. 1 confluence of higher taxes and deep spending cuts that could rattle a recovering, but-still-fragile economy.

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