Obama, Boehner have 'frank' fiscal cliff discussion

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December 14, 2012, 5:41 am
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(NECN/NBC News: Tracie Potts) - No news is not necessarily good news when it comes to your taxes.

As of this Friday morning, we're exactly one week away from congress going home for the holiday break and still no deal on avoiding the fiscal cliff.

Discussions described as "tense" earlier this week are now being called "frank." It's not clear if that means progress.

They are still deadlocked and no closer to a deal this morning after a second face-to-face between President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

"The President wants to pretend that spending isn't the problem, that's why we don't have an agreement," Boehner said.

They met in the Oval Office for almost an hour. For aides for both sides called the meeting "frank."

Boehner wants more spending cuts.

The President insists the wealthy pay more and he's still pressuring Congress to extend tax breaks for the middle class - deal or not:

"We want Congress to hear that they shouldn't be fooling around with people's Christmas' like this," Obama said.

On the street, emotions range from angry…

"It's just disgusting."

To unconcerned:

"I'm kinda neutral on it,” said Joshua Gilchrist. “I just hope they hurry up and get something settled."

To optimistic:

"I would expect that to happen right before or right after the first of the year," said Dana Hunter.

The Senate's scheduled to go home one week from Friday. Some House members are already leaving.

Unless there's a breakthrough here, they've got nothing to do.

This weekend was the "soft deadline" to at least reach a general compromise. No word on whether further meetings are scheduled for Friday.

So what if they do reach an agreement, does that mean we go over the cliff just because lawmakers aren't there to vote on it?

No, they can always come back if there is a deal or House leaders can temporarily approve it until Congress resumes in January.

Tags: White House, congress, Senate, President Barack Obama, House of Representatives, Tracie Potts, house speaker john boehner, NBC news, fiscal cliff, dana hunter, joshua gilchrist
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