Obama Plans News Conference Before Leaving Town

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama plans to make year-end remarks and take questions from reporters as Congress wraps up a busy post-election session.

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White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says officials are watching the congressional schedule to determine the best time Wednesday to have Obama hold a news conference. The White House is considering a time later Wednesday. After that, Obama plans to join his family in Hawaii for the holidays.

A news conference would give Obama an opportunity to take something of a victory lap after signing a landmark bill that repealed the ban on gays openly serving in the armed forces. Obama also reached a successful deal with Republicans on taxes, and he is on the cusp of winning Senate ratification of a nuclear arms treaty with Russia.