With time running short to work out a deal to avert a year-end fiscal crisis, President Obama called Speaker John A. Boehner to the White House on Thursday evening to try to move talks forward even as pessimism mounted that a broad deal could be struck that bridges the substantial gap between the parties on taxes and entitlements. It was the second tête-à-tête the two leaders have had at the White House in the past week. Any deal to avert the fiscal cliff and lay the groundwork for long-term deficit reduction is expected to come from the president and the speaker; the fact that they’ve stepped up the pace of their private meetings could signal that negotiations are entering a more serious phase. Afterward, as they did following a Sunday meeting, White House and Congressional aides issued near-identical statements saying only that “the lines of communication remain open.”
17 Dec 2012
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