Presidentand House Speaker, , held private talks over the looming fiscal cliff and aides to both men say that a new round of proposals has been made, with both sides compromising a little to help save the economy from collapsing on Jan 1st.
While details of the discussions have not been disclosed, a Boehner aid revealed that White House made a new offer in tax cuts and revenue increases on Monday, which was returned by a counter offer by the Republicans on Tuesday. He said the new offer brought Obama's initial demand for $1.6 trillion in new tax revenues down to $1.4 trillion.
The new series of talks is a sign of movement in the direction of further negotiations and has been welcomed with open arms by both sides. However, despite showing some flexibility, Obama continues insisting on higher tax rate for the wealthy.
On Tuesday, Boehner took to the House floor, demanding more details on the spending cuts after the White House came with its new offer. "We're still waiting for the White House to identify what spending cuts the president is willing to make as part of the balanced approach that he promised the American people," Boehner said.
The White House shot back that the administration had submitted enough details with respect to reducing spending and it’s the Republicans who are still delaying furnishing specifics on increasing revenues.
"There is a deal out there that's possible," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. It could include reduced spending, more revenues and tax reform as long as Republicans accepted higher tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, he said."We do believe the parameters of a compromise are pretty clear," Carney said.
While both leaders want the deficit reduced by $4 trillion over the next 10 years, they differ on the path leading to the cuts. A reasonable deal must be reached before the next year begins if the administration wants to stop the economy from going back into recession. The House Speaker is optimistic that both parties can reach an agreement.
Obama had no public appearances on Tuesday but his spokesman, Jay Carney, acknowledged the White House was deliberately being "incredibly opaque" about the negotiations talking place privately.
"If it weren't for the broader interest here, which is in trying to allow some space for the parties to see if they can achieve a compromise, you know, I'd be spilling my guts from here," Carney said.