Obama, Boehner meet to discuss 'fiscal cliff'

FILE -- House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, and President Barack Obama meet with congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are keeping the lines of communication open as the White House and Congress try to keep the nation from going over the "fiscal cliff" in January.

The two men met Sunday at the White House to discuss the ongoing negotiations to try and stop a combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to kick in at the beginning of next year. It's the first meeting between just the two of them since Election Day.

Spokesmen for both Obama and Boehner say the two leaders agreed to not release details of the conversation.

Obama has been pushing higher tax rates on the wealthiest Americans as one way to reduce the deficit -- a position Boehner and other House Republicans have been steadfastly against. Republicans are demanding steeper cuts in costly government entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.

One GOP senator, Bob Corker of Tennessee, said Sunday that Senate Republicans would probably agree to higher tax rates on the wealthiest Americans if it meant getting a chance to overhaul entitlement programs.