President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, met at the White House Sunday for their first face-to-face meeting on the “fiscal cliff” in weeks, indicating that negotiations are continuing despite a public stalemate over the requirements for a deal.
The two have spoken over the phone as recently as Wednesday but on Friday, Boehner held a news conference to announce that “no progress” had been made.
While details of today’s discussion weren’t disclosed both Mr. Obama’s and Boehner’s spokesmen released the same exact statement to reporters, revealing some coordination – even if it’s just how to talk to the press.
“This afternoon, the President and Speaker Boehner met at the White House to discuss efforts to resolve the fiscal cliff. We’re not reading out details of the conversation, but the lines of communication remain open,” Boehner spokesma Brendan Buck and White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest separately emailed.
The “fiscal cliff” is a series of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that are set to go into affect at the beginning of the year unless Congress passes an alternative proposal. Most economists say the jolt to the economy would harm any recovery, and could throw the country back into recession.
Both sides have laid out their demands. Republicans are adamant that spending be greatly reduced, especially for entitlements. Democrats, however, are demanding that tax rates increase for the wealthy, something that some Republicans, including Boehner, have indicated is up for discussion.
Source: CBS NEWS