House Speaker John Boehner steps out of his vehicle as he arrives at the West Wing of the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama on Dec. 13, 2012. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner held a "frank" meeting lasting nearly an hour Thursday night, aides to both men said.
Boehner returned to the Capitol without public comment, and the aides would not discuss whether the negotiating session at the White House resulted in progress to avoid the looming "fiscal cliff."
It was the two men's second face-to-face encounter in five days as they seek to find an agreement that avoids economy-stressing tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to kick in on Jan. 1.
The use of the word "frank" to describe the talks suggested that both stuck hard to their positions. Key issues center on Obama's demand that upper tax rates rise on household incomes of more than $250,000 and Boehner's call for more spending cuts from the White House.