White House, Congress continue talk as ‘fiscal cliff’ nears

10:26 am | November 29, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid increasing anxiety that the White House and top Republicans are wasting time as the government slides toward an economy-rattling “fiscal cliff,” administration officials are heading to Capitol Hill for talks with congressional leaders.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and senior White House aide Rob Nabors were to visit separately today with the four leaders of the House and Senate to discuss how to avert a series of tax increases and spending cuts due to begin in January. Republicans complain that the White House is slow-walking the talks and has yet to provide specifics on how President Barack Obama would curb the rapid growth of benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

Obama and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, the lead GOP negotiator, spoke on the phone Wednesday, their first conversation in five days. But there’s been little evident progress in negotiations between the two sides.

Boehner’s lieutenants say the White House has been slow to engage.

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