President Obama, who heads to Pennsylvania on Thursday to stump for his plan to avoid the fiscal cliff, said he hoped to reach a deal with Republicans before Christmas. Obama urged Americans to use Twitter to pressure lawmakers to compromise on a deficit reduction plan to prevent punishing automatic tax hikes and spending cuts from taking effect Jan. 1. GOP unity against Obama's call for raising tax rates on the wealthy has begun to falter — conservative Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Wednesday he'd back an agreement to raise rates on the rich but extend tax cuts to the 98 percent of Americans making less than $250,000. "Why make the American people wait through 30 days of this, wondering — 98 percent of them — if their taxes are going to go up," Cole said.
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