from washington this even, the so-called fiscal cliff, now quickly approaching. And on this sunday, new signals republicans are willing to work with the president, to a point. Here's abc's david... See More
from washington this even, the so-called fiscal cliff, now quickly approaching. And on this sunday, new signals republicans are willing to work with the president, to a point. Here's abc's david kerley now. Reporter: Across the dial today, the parties sounded like they could make a deal. I think there's a basis for the deal. I absolutely believe there is. Reporter: It's the same tone we heard from the major players. I'm open to compromise. It's just time to get the job done. Reporter: Speaker boehner even told his republican members they would have to avoid nasty fights, and according to "the new york times," they seemed to listen. But those words don't change a basic disagreement that could push the country off the fiscal cliff, the first of january. That's when a number of tax cuts expire, dubbed tax-mageddon, meaning the average family will pay an extra $3,700 a year. And severe cuts to defense and government spending will be triggered. The sticking point on avoiding that cliff? Taxes. The president campaigned on and won on letting tax cuts for the rich expire. Todading republican said no. No republican will vote for higher tax rates. Reporter: If that sounds a lot like the argument we've already heard, you're right. And democrats appear emboldened that rates for the rich rise. If the republicans will not agree with that, we will reach a point at the end of this year where all the tax cuts expire and we'll start over next year. Reporter: The two sides have four more days to lay out their markers. On friday, congressional leaders come here to the white house to start negotiations in earnest.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.