The screening comes while lawmakers continue to struggle to agree on a deficit-reduction deal that would avoid the looming "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax increases.
On Wednesday, President Obama and Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerFormer House leader Bob Michel, a person and politician for the ages Former House GOP leader Bob Michel dies at 93 Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist MORE (R-Ohio) held a BoehnerJohn BoehnerFormer House leader Bob Michel, a person and politician for the ages Former House GOP leader Bob Michel dies at 93 Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist MORE-hold-phone-call-on-debt-talks" href="http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/271291-obama-boehner-hold-phone-call-on-debt-talks">phone call amid the negotiations on a deficit deal. Aides confirmed the phone call, cut would not say what was discussed.
Previously, after Obama offered an initial proposal with $1.6 trillion in tax increases and $400 billion in entitlement program savings, Republicans countered with an offer that raises $800 billion in new tax revenue but does not raise tax rates. Obama dismissed the proposal.
Obama and top Democrats have said they cannot agree to any plan that does not include any increases on tax rates for the highest-income earners.