TODAY | December 08, 2012
>>> the fiscal cliff deadline. this morning, president obama says he's ready to work with congressional republicans on a comprehensive plan to cut the federal budget as long as it also includes higher taxes on the wealthy. but can that happen in time? mike is at the white house with the latest.
>> reporter: the president also said no compromise. he came right out and said it. he will not give an inch on this question of raising tax for the wealthy. but there is a glimmer of hope, lester. perhaps some common ground after some comments yesterday that there can be a compromise around this question of just how big a hike for the wealthy. visiting a d.c. area diner, vice president joe biden said if the gop were willing, a debt deal could be done in short order.
>> it would take 15 minutes from the time the decision was made by the speaker of the house to pass and make permanent middle class tax cut . the president would probably have me sprint up to the hill to bring the bill down for him to sign.
>> reporter: but even after the latest in a series of private calls with the president, house speaker john boehner says the white house is stone walling.
>> when it comes to the fiscal cliff that's threatening our economy and threatening jobs, the white house has wasted another week.
>> reporter: this morning in his weekly address, president obama is holding a hard line on raising rates for the wealthy.
>> and if we're serious about protecting middle class families, we're also going to ask the wealthiest americans to pay higher tax rates . that's one principle i won't compromise on.
>> reporter: but how much higher could be the key to compromise. when asked if a middle ground could be found, both boehner and biden showed some wiggle room.
>> the top brackets have to go up. it's not a negotiable issue. it's theoretical we can negotiate how far up.
>> reporter: at another local restaurant, this owner has seen enough of washington gridlock.
>> i wish those lawmakers would get their acts together and get it done and try to help everybody. it would be good if they could do it before the holidays are over.
>> reporter: she said it, lester. one more late development here yesterday. the administration has officially asked congress for $60 billion to help victims of superstorm sandy.