President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) met at the White House in the latest sign of intensifying discussions around their effort to forge a broad framework to tame the federal debt, with a Dec. 31 deadline fast approaching to reach a deal to avert a massive austerity combination of tax hikes and spending cuts.

The meeting -- their third conversation in the last five days -- comes after Boehner put forward a new offer that would call for $1 trillion in new tax revenue, including a raise in tax rates on income of more than $1 million, and $1 trillion in spending cuts that would include a revision to expensive entitlement programs. The speaker's preferred plan is to revise downward the annual inflation adjustment for beneficiaries of federal programs, including Social Security.