President Obama, Speaker John Boehner Steer 'Fiscal Cliff' Negotiations

David Kerley tracks the latest on the budget debate in Washington.
2:32 | 12/08/12

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Transcript for President Obama, Speaker John Boehner Steer 'Fiscal Cliff' Negotiations
This morning marks 24 days before the country goes over the fiscal cliff, where everyone's taxes automatically go up. And deep spending cuts kick in. President obama is taking aim at republicans, accusing them of blocking a bill that would prevent tax rates to go up for the middle class. Fiscal cliff negotiations are now in the hands of just two people. President obama and house speaker john boehner. Abc's david kerley joins us live with the latest. David, we have a positive jobs report. Better than expected. Consumer confidence floated. Reporter: They're using the jobs report right now, the obama administration. A little more fuel. And we are talking about two men now. It comes down to these two guys and a lot of jobs on the line. Possible hiring freezes, furloughs if we go over the cliff. Now, working for the cuts they will make if we do actually go over the cliff. A diner, middle-class taxpayers and the vice president, telling republicans a deal to extend tax cuts for all but the wealthy is easy. The president would probably have me sprint up to the hill to bring the bill down for him to sign. It can be done like that. Reporter: Not really. Even though the two sides are talking, they aren't making much progress. Remember that phone call between the president and the speaker a couple days ago? The phone call was pleasant. But it was just more of the same. Reporter: And that's the problem. It is now down to these two men, deal or no deal. The republican speaker and the president. With an election win at his back, the white house says the president won't budge on two points. Higher tax rates for the rich. The actual rate might be negotiable. And any deal has to include an increase in the debt limit, which is set to hit its ceiling in february. But one mistake the president won't make in the talks, is the one he made a year and a half ago in negotiations with boehner. He didn't keep leaders in the house and senate in the loop. This time, he did. Even though nancy pelosi is not at the table, she says she's on the team. The president knows our views. He shares our values. Reporter: What I'm hearing from administration sources is they want republicans to agree to some of that rate increase for the wealthy in taxes. And the debt ceiling. Then, the white house will start talking about how we're going to cut entitlement programs. That's not the way the republicans want the negotiations to go. But basically, the white house is ying, listen, do this and we'll go forward. A tough game of political chicken right now. Bill clinton called it kabuki theater. David kerley, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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