When asked about specific budget cuts being discussed in Washington, few Americans express support for them.
Time for deal-making is short, thanks to the holiday and congressional calendars. Some key dates for averting the fiscal cliff:
— Lawmakers aren't expected to return to the Capitol until after Christmas, leaving less than a week to vote on a compromise before year's end.
— Obama and his family also were leaving town for a Christmas vacation in Hawaii. The president said because the fiscal cliff was still unresolved, he would return to Washington next week.
— If lawmakers reach Dec. 31 without a deal, some economists worry that the financial markets might swoon.
— The current Congress is in session only through noon Eastern time on Jan. 3. After that, a newly elected Congress with 13 new senators and 82 new House members would inherit the problem.
Associated Press writers Jim Kuhnhenn, Alan Fram and Andrew Taylor and Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.
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