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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama phoned congressional leaders late on Wednesday to get an update on negotiations to avert tax hikes and spending cuts due to take effect on January 1, the White House said on Thursday.

Obama, who is traveling back to Washington on Thursday after a brief vacation in Hawaii, called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the White House said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Doina Chiacu)