The White House confirms President Obama and Speaker Boehner did have what Politico calls a "curt" conversation Wednesday. Aides to the speaker also confirm the call, adding only "Watch Boehner this morning" at a scheduled news conference on Capitol Hill. Both sides refuse to say when during the day the call occurred.
This would be the second Obama-Boehner call in four days, and it comes as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner heads to fiscal cliff meetings on the Hill. The president says, "My hope is to get this done before Christmas." The speaker calls himself "optimistic."
White House aides underscore they have always said President Obama will not budge. The tax rate for incomes above $250,000 must go up. They decline to expand on entitlements and whose details must hit the table first.