“I outlined a framework that deals with reforming our tax code and reforming our spending, and I believe that the framework that I’ve outlined in our meeting today is consistent with the president’s call for a fair and balanced approach,” said Speaker Boehner. “To show our seriousness, we’ve put revenue on the table as long as it’s accompanied by significant spending cuts.”
"We are prepared to put revenue on the table provided we fix the real problem," added Senator McConnell soon thereafter. "Most of my members I think without exception believe that we're in the dilemma we're in not because we taxed too little but because we spent too much."
McConnell put a special emphasis on changes to entitlement programs. “I can say on the part of my members that we fully understand that you can’t save the country until you have entitlement programs that fit the demographics of a changing America in the coming years,” he said.
Democrats, too, signaled an understanding that both sides would have to give ground.
“We have a cornerstone of being able to work something out. We're both going to have to give up some of the things that we know are a problem,” said Senator Reid. “And so it is like when we arrive at a point where we all know something has to be done, there is no more 'Let's do it some other time.' We're going to do it now.”
White House staff will continue talks with Hill leadership until Congress reconvenes after Thanksgiving. Reid said his understanding is that the group would meet again at that time.