President Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have resumed private negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff, after a week of delivering highly publicized opening bids for a budget deal. "Lines of communication are open," Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, tells The Wall Street Journal. The two sides ostensibly remain far apart, with Obama unwilling to withdraw his demand that the deal include a tax hike for the wealthy. Boehner, for his part, has demanded far more spending cuts than Obama.
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