WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says it appears that an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff is "in sight," but says it's not yet complete and work continues.
Obama says this has been a "pressing issue on people's minds," and tells an audience of middle-class taxpayers the deal would, among other things, extend unemployment benefits for Americans "who are still out there looking for a job."
Obama said he had hoped for a "balanced approach", but said that "with this Congress, it was obviously a little too much to hope for at this time."
Officials familiar with the negotiations say an agreement would raise tax rates on family income over $450,000 a year and increase the estate tax rate.
Obama said his first priority is to stop taxes from going up on middle class families Tuesday.