Obama, Boehner meet to talk ‘cliff’
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met Sunday at the White House to discuss the ongoing negotiations over the impending “fiscal cliff,” the first meeting between just the two leaders since Election Day.
Spokesmen for both Obama and Boehner said they agreed to not release details of the conversation, but emphasized that the lines of communication remain open.
The meeting comes as the White House and Congress try to break an impasse over finding a way to stop a combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to kick in at the beginning of next year.
Obama met in November with Boehner, as well as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The president spoke by telephone with Reid and in person with Pelosi on Friday. The president is traveling to Redford, Mich., today to promote his agenda to workers at an engine factory.
Obama has been pushing higher tax rates on the wealthiest Americans as one way to reduce the deficit — a position Boehner and other House Republicans have been steadfastly against.
Republicans are demanding steeper cuts in costly government entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.
Bob Corker, a GOP senator from Tennessee, said Sunday that Senate Republicans would probably agree to higher tax rates on the wealthiest Americans if it meant getting a chance to overhaul entitlement programs.