On ‘Fiscal Cliff,’ Both Sides Lay Groundwork for Debate’s Next Phase

November 27, 2012

Private talks between President Obama and top congressional leaders in search of a deal to avoid the year-end “fiscal cliff” are accelerating, officials said Monday, even as the president began ramping up pressure on Republicans to extend tax cuts for the middle class.

Obama telephoned House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) over the weekend, in a sign that high-level negotiations are advancing with only weeks to go before an automatic series of spending cuts and tax hikes starts to hit nearly every American.

Boehner, meanwhile, was laying plans Monday for top Republicans to meet with Erskine Bowles, a chief of staff in the Bill Clinton administration who also has close ties to Obama’s White House.

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