Fiscal Cliff Talks Constructive, White House Says

WASHINGTON (November 16, 2012)--President Barack Obama had a constructive meeting with congressional leaders Friday on the looming "fiscal cliff" that could undermine the economy and slow job creation in the new year, the White House said.

Mr. Obama met with the top leaders of the House and Senate for more than an hour Friday on ways to avert the cliff, a series of automatic tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect Jan. 1., in the absence of intervening action.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Mr. Obama and the legislative leaders "agreed to do everything possible to find a solution" and find a balanced approach to reduce the deficit that includes increased revenue favored by Democrats and spending cuts favored by Republicans.

Congressional leaders expressed confidence they could reach a deal before Christmas.

House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell both said they offered higher tax revenue as part of a deal.

Boehner said he outlined a framework that is consistent with Mr. Obama's call for a "balanced" approach of both higher revenue and spending cuts.

"We all know something has to be done,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.

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