President Obama hosted House Speaker John Boehner today, spending nearly an hour together in which they reportedly discussed ways to avert the looming "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax hikes that are due to strike at the end of 2012. Boehner left the White House at 6 p.m., ET, apparently without reaching a deal. As Politico reports, the Republican plans to return to his home state of Ohio this weekend.
The speaker's meeting with the president began around 5:10, just more than an hour after the White House announced that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, a subject of steady criticism from congressional Republicans, had "removed her name from consideration for Secretary of State."
Obama and Boehner have recently ramped up their negotiations as the deadline for a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" nears. The pair met at the White House Sunday, and they have traded counteroffers to each others' original plans.
The president has called for $1.4 trillion in revenue over the next decade, which would include higher taxes for the wealthiest taxpayers as well as $400 billion in spending cuts.
The speaker has put forth a plan that includes $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over the same period, as well as $800 billion in new revenue — much of it derived from restructuring the existing tax code.
This afternoon meeting between President Obama and Speaker Boehner came on the same day the Pew Research Center released a new national poll that gauged Americans' views on the fiscal cliff and the efforts to avoid it.
The poll found that 55 percent of respondents believe Obama "is making a serious effort to work with Republicans. But just 32% say Republican leaders are making a serious effort to work with Obama on a deficit deal."
Pew Research Center president Andrew Kohut discussed the poll on today's All Things Considered.
At his weekly news briefing earlier today, Boehner maintained his stance that spending cuts are the best remedy for the U.S. economy's ills.
"While the president promised the American people a balanced approach, his proposals have been anything but," said Boehner, according to a partial transcript on his website.