WASHINGTON -- The White House and congressional Republicans are setting their sights on a more modest `fiscal cliff' deal to extend current tax rates for most Americans, raise rates for top earners but leave other, vexing issues for the new year, as hopes dim for a wide-ranging bargain.
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met late Thursday at the White House. There were few signs of progress. Both sides describe the talks as "frank," a less than optimistic assessment.
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While Boehner took the lead in negotiations, a growing number of Senate Republicans were calling on their House colleagues to yield on their opposition to letting top tax rates increase on income over $250,000 for couples, while extending Bush-era tax cuts for everyone else.