Lawmakers See Signs of Progress as Boehner, Obama Trade Proposals

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Members of Congress say there are signs of progress in talks to avoid $607 billion in tax increases and spending cuts, with President Obama and House Speaker Boehner exchanging counteroffers again. Neither Boehner's office nor the White House provide details of the offers, but lawmakers say the basic framework of the initial offers remains intact, with Republicans still pushing for a pledge to cut entitlement spending and the White House demanding an increase in the top tax rates. “We sent the White House a counteroffer that would achieve tax and entitlement reform to solve our looming debt crisis and create more American jobs,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel says. “The longer the White House slow-walks this process, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff.”

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