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Obama Says Republicans Posturing in Rejecting Budget Deal

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said he offered congressional Republicans a “fair deal” during budget talks and accused them of “posturing” in negotiations.

The president, at a White House news conference, vowed to continue to reach out to House Speaker John Boehner and said there is no reason to breach the end-of-the-year deadline and allow automatic spending cuts and tax increases to take effect.

“I have gone at least half way” in negotiations for a accord to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff and Republicans need to “take the deal” he’s offered, Obama said. “The fact that they haven’t taken it yet is puzzling.”

Obama also said he still wants to get an agreement by Christmas. He said the proposals he and Boehner have advanced are “pretty close.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Lisa Lerer in Washington at llerer@bloomberg.net; Roger Runningen in Washington at rrunningen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: -at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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