Democrats insist any debt and deficit reduction deal must include income tax increases on individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and families earning more than $250,000 a year -- a major sticking point for Republicans who stand opposed.
GOP leaders say they are open to increasing tax revenues through elimination of some deductions and loopholes but only in tandem with deep spending cuts which they claim the White House has not specified.
"Democrats are on the same page, Republicans know where we stand," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today. "You can't get from here to there unless you raise the upper rates. And that's what the president suggested. It's up to them to come forward with something else."
The finger-pointing on specifics signals that both sides are waiting for the other to go first in negotiations, wary of losing leverage in taking the first step toward compromise.
ABC News' Emily Friedman and Ann Compton contributed to this report. This post has been updated.