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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Despite an intensifying pace, little progress is being reported in talks on averting automatic spending cuts and tax increases that have been dubbed the fiscal cliff.

House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama spoke on the phone Tuesday, a day after the president offered to reduce his initial demand for $1.6 trillion in higher tax revenue over a decade to $1.4 trillion. But Obama continues to insist that much of the revenue come from raising top tax rates on the wealthy.

Boehner countered Tuesday with another offer that aides to the Ohio Republican said stuck close to a document delivered to the White House a week ago. A top White House aide, Rob Nabors, came to the Capitol to respond.

Leading lawmakers expressed pessimism that a deal was close.

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