House Speaker John Boehner voiced optimism that Republicans could broker a deal with the White House to avoid year-end austerity measures, saying on Wednesday that Republicans were willing to put revenues on the table if Democrats agreed to spending cuts.
"I am optimistic that we can continue to work together to avert this crisis sooner rather than later," the Ohio Republican told reporters. "We (Republicans) put revenue on the table as long as it is accompanied by serious spending cuts to avert this crisis."
The $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts will start going into effect early next year if the Obama administration and lawmakers cannot agree on how to change the law. Top policymakers say these austerity measures could topple the U.S. economy back into a recession.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Bill Trott)