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Originally published Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 2:01 PM

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White House asks agencies to plan for fiscal cliff

The White House budget office has asked federal agencies to calculate more than $100 billion in spending cuts that would go into effect in January if Congress and the Obama administration fail to reach agreement to avert the looming fiscal cliff.

The Associated Press

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WASHINGTON —

The White House budget office has asked federal agencies to calculate more than $100 billion in spending cuts that would go into effect in January if Congress and the Obama administration fail to reach agreement to avert the looming fiscal cliff.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that officials remain confident they can reach a deal to avoid automatic spending cuts that would take effect in the new year. But he said the Office of Management and Budget "must take certain steps" to ensure the administration is ready to enact spending cuts if Congress fails to act on the fiscal cliff. The agency sent letters out this week.

About half the spending cuts would be to the military and half to domestic programs.

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