HATFIELD, Pa. (AP) - President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) don't sound close to a deal to avoid that "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts due to hit in January.
Boehner says negotiations are going "almost nowhere" right now. He says Obama's proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff by boosting revenue by $1.6 trillion over the next decade would be a "crippling blow" to the economy and leave the nation's debt problems unresolved.
But, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, the Republican speaker vowed to keep working with the president to find a deal.
Meanwhile, Obama took his case on the road, telling an audience at a Pennsylvania toy factory that failing to extend tax cuts for the middle class would mean a "Scrooge Christmas" for millions.
In his first campaign-style event to sell his solution on the "fiscal cliff," Obama said Republicans should extend existing Bush-era tax rates for households earning $250,000 or less, while allowing increases to kick in for the wealthy.
He said both sides need to "get out of our comfort zones" to reach an agreement.
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