Obama says he still wants fiscal cliff deal by Christmas

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he is still optimistic that a deal is possible to avert impending tax hikes and automatic spending cuts, but said he is puzzled that Republicans have not yet accepted his plan.
Obama said he will continue to talk to House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, and other congressional leaders to try to find a way to bridge differences, and said he would like to get a deal done before Christmas.