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AUDIO: Congressman Walberg calls impasse in Washington a "spending and taxing cliff"


WASHINGTON D.C. (WTVB) - President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner held a "frank" face-to-face meeting on Thursday in an effort to break an impasse in talks to avert the "fiscal cliff" of steep tax increases and spending cuts.

With an end-of-year deadline looming, the two leaders talked at the White House as frustration mounted over the recent lack of progress in negotiations that had become bogged down in a daily round of finger-pointing.

Aides on both sides used similar language to describe the 50-minute meeting, calling it "frank" and repeating that lines of communication remained open. Michigan's 7th District Congressman Tim Walberg Friday morning said he remains frustrated by the lack of progress. He also said the crisis should be renamed the President's "spending and taxing cliff".

The meeting, also attended by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, was announced after frustration broke out on both sides at a lack of progress and U.S. stocks turned negative due to fears the economy could dip into recession again if politicians fail to break the gridlock in Washington.

At times raising his voice, Boehner criticized Obama earlier in the day for putting jobs and the economic recovery at risk by insisting on raising tax rates for the wealthiest 2 percent.

White House spokesman Jay Carney responded by reaffirming Obama's commitment to raising the top rates and complaining there had been no movement from Republicans on that crucial topic.