With 18 days left before a deadline for averting the cliff, Obama and House Speaker
The meeting came shortly after Boehner publicly accused Obama of dragging out negotiations on an agreement needed to avoid automatic across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to take effect at year's end. Other Republicans say such a tactic seems to be working when it comes to a deal forcing up tax rates for the wealthy.
The two sides appear far apart on the issue, and Boehner is scheduled to return home to
Hours before the meeting, Obama told reporters a deal is "still a work in progress," while he walked from the
Boehner told reporters before the meeting that the president continued to stall on Republican demands for spending cuts as part of any deal that includes raising taxes on the wealthy.
"It's clear that the president's just not serious about cutting spending," Boehner said. "He wants far more in tax hikes than in spending cuts." He said that's why there's been no deal.
But there's increasing resignation within the
"I think it's time to end debate on rates," said Republican Sen.
Beyond the disagreement over tax rates, there is a deep philosophical disagreement on government spending, especially so-called entitlement programs like the
Neither side has given much ground, and Boehner's exchange of proposals with Obama seemed to generate more hard feelings than progress.
House Democratic Leader
She criticized Republican House leaders for sending lawmakers home on Thursday, saying they should stay in
Pelosi said, "Here we are once again having a two-day work week in the
Republican House Majority Leader
Boehner responded with an offer very much like one he gave the
Both sides accuse the other of delaying the talks. Democrats say Boehner is unwilling to crack on the key issue of raising tax rates on family income over
"I do have an increasing concern that the speaker ... is trying to string this out until
Republicans say it's Democrats who are dragging out the talks.
"In the past 48 hours, the president has not been negotiating in good faith, in my opinion," said Rep.
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