The Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, has met again with President Barack Obama at the White House to talk about the looming fiscal cliff, but no progress was reported.
The two spoke for about one hour. Officials from both sides called the talks “frank,” but gave no details.
All sides must agree on a package of budget cuts and tax increases by December 31 or they will go into effect automatically. Many economists say this will hurt the middle class and plunge the country back into recession.
So far, the White House and the Republican-led Congress have rejected each other's offers and counteroffers.
President Obama insists the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans pay more in taxes. He has said his reelection last month shows many Americans agree with him. Congressional conservatives demand deeper spending cuts with no tax increases for anyone. They say the president's plan would raise taxes on small businesses and kill jobs.
Boehner said before Thursday's meeting that it is clear the president is not serious about cutting spending. He said the White House is walking the economy right up to the cliff.
A White House spokesman called the Republican proposal “fantasy economics” — unspecified spending cuts combined with permanent tax cuts for the wealthy.