President Obama defends tax deal while facing strong criticism

WASHINGTON - (AP) - Facing strong Democratic criticism, President Barack Obama is crisply defending concessions he made toRepublicans as part of a tax-cut compromise.

The president spoke Tuesday at a news conference as the topDemocrats in Congress signaled they will seek changes in theagreement.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the deal is not yetcompleted and that "more work" needs to be done. Reid met earlierwith Vice President Joe Biden and members of the Democraticrank-and-file.

Across the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued astatement saying that discussions with the president and theDemocratic caucus will continue in the days ahead.

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