President Barack Obama used a brief statement Friday evening to pitch a conciliatory message about the stalled budget talks, shortly before departing for his Christmas vacation in Hawaii.

He called for Congress to pass a stripped-down bill before Jan. 1 that would extend unemployment insurance for 2 million long-term unemployed, and halt scheduled tax increases on taxes on 98 percent of earners — roughly speaking, everyone below $250,000 a year.

But Obama’s proposed stripped-down bill would not curb spending, as sought by the GOP and much of the public.

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