WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) have met at the White House to talk about the "fiscal cliff."
Officials say the two met today for about 45 minutes.
They're running out of time if they hope to make an agreement and get it passed through Congress before the cliff strikes at the beginning of January. A mix of huge tax increases and deep cuts to the Pentagon and other federal agencies starts taking effect Jan. 1.
Given the pressing timetable, the two men are hoping to set the broad parameters of an agreement while taking care of urgent business like extending tax cuts for most earners, preventing sharp cuts in Medicare physician payments, and making sure millions of taxpayers don't get struck by the alternative minimum tax.
On Friday, Boehner offered $1 trillion in higher tax revenue over 10 years and an increase in the top tax rate on people making more than $1 million a year. The House speaker is also offering a large enough extension in the government's borrowing cap to fund the government for one year before the issue must be revisited — as long as Obama agrees to the $1 trillion in cuts.
More progress was made in staff negotiations over the weekend.
042-c-22-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)-"deeper spending cuts"-AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports the week begins with Republicans reportedly ready to make a substantial concession. (17 Dec 2012)
<<CUT *042 (12/17/12)>> 00:22 "deeper spending cuts"
043-c-22-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)-"the debt ceiling"-AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports time is short for this deal to come together. (17 Dec 2012)
<<CUT *043 (12/17/12)>> 00:22 "the debt ceiling"