US President Barack Obama held fresh talks with top Republican lawmaker John Boehner at the White House on Monday, in their latest effort to reach a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
"The president and Speaker Boehner are meeting at the White House to continue their discussions about the fiscal cliff and balanced deficit reduction," the White House said in a statement.
The meeting lasted about 45 minutes, said a statement from Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives, adding that there would be no news release about the face-to-face encounter.
It was the latest in a serious of meetings between the two men as they seek to forge a compromise aimed at preventing tax hikes and federal spending cuts from kicking in beginning January 1.
Congressional economists say tumbling over the fiscal cliff could send the US economy back into recession.
Republicans at least publicly have refused to go along with Obama's call to raise taxes on all US households earning more than $250,000 per year as part of his plan to raise $1.6 trillion in new tax revenues over the next decade.
Boehner has offered $800 billion in new revenue through the closing of loopholes and the elimination of tax deductions, but not by raising tax rates on the rich. Obama has dropped his revenues request to $1.4 trillion.
In a concession Friday, Boehner sweetened his offer, reportedly agreeing to back tax hikes on those making more than $1 million per year provided spending cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare are part of the deal.
If no agreement is reached by year end, taxes rise on all Americans on January 1, followed by some $110 billion in spending cuts in 2013, split evenly between military and civilian programs.