Talks between the White House and House Speaker John Boehner  on a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" continue out of the public eye.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

But public statements from lawmakers suggest a deal is not close. Boehner himself says "serious differences" remain between him and President Barack Obama.

The Ohio Republican says some offers were exchanged yesterday, but he and the president "had pretty frank conversations" about how far apart they are.

Boehner has advised fellow GOP lawmakers not to make plans for the week after Christmas.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor urged the president today to produce more specifics.

The combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts would go into effect after the first of the year. Economists have warned it could plunge the nation into a recession.



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