Statements from Obama, Boehner Indicate Little Flexibility

FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2012, file photo, President Barack Obama acknowledges House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio while speaking to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, as he hosted a meeting of the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress to discuss the deficit and economy. Admnistration officials say President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met Sunda, Dec. 9, 2012, at the White House to discuss the ongoing negotiations over the impeding "fiscal cliff." Spokesmen for both Obama and Boehner said the two men agreed to not release details of the conversation, but emphasized that the lines of communication remain open. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
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WASHINGTON (AP) - There are no signs of flexibility coming from either the White House or House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) after the speaker's meeting yesterday with President Barack Obama.

A Boehner spokesman says last week's Republican offer still stands -- and it's an offer that doesn't include higher tax rates on the wealthy.

Meanwhile, an Obama spokesman says there can't be any deal without an increase in those rates.

But spokesman Jay Carney, traveling with Obama to Detroit today, said the president remains optimistic that there can be a deal.

Negotiations continue to center on whether to raise tax rates for the top 2 percent of income earners. Some Republican lawmakers have suggested that the party relent on that issue, in order to win concessions from Obama on changes to benefit programs such as Medicare.