US President Barack Obama and Speaker John A Boehner met at the White House on Monday morning, an administration official said, indicating further quickening of their negotiations for a tax-and-spending deal to reduce deficits since the weekend.
It was their first meeting since Thursday, but they spoke by phone on Friday and staff advisers were in back-and-forth consultations through the weekend. The president and speaker were now meeting “to continue their discussions about the fiscal cliff and balanced deficit reduction,” the official said.
In this final week before Christmas, Obama and Boehner must come to some accord by Tuesday to get some measure through Congress before lawmakers depart, some Republicans say. In the House, Boehner has a three-day rule requiring that many days before a vote so members can familiarise themselves with legislation. The rule can be waived, but that would require a majority vote from the full House.
If the sides fail to reach an agreement, they would likely have to call lawmakers back to the Capitol in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, which could pose additional challenges. After December 31, absent some bipartisan action, taxes would go up for every taxpayer with the expiration that day of the Bush-era tax rates, and tens of billions of across-the-board cuts would be made in domestic and military programs, potentially causing a recession, economists say.
© 2012 The New York Times News Service