Congressional Leadership Lays Out Battle Lines on Fiscal Cliff

Election celebrations cut short as lame duck Congress prepares to address looming fiscal cliff.

House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid address reporters on Nov. 7, 2012.
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Lester warns, however, the lame duck only has so much time.

"As we get further and further into January, some agencies will be more vulnerable," Lester says. "You will start to see things break down. As every day goes by, there are more cracks in the ice. If we get too far through the year, we fall through."

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  • Lauren Fox is a political reporter for U.S. News & World Report. She can be reached at lfox@usnews.com or you can follow her on Twitter @foxreports.