Geithner, top lawmakers to discuss budget impasse

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will meet with congressional leaders Thursday to discuss ways to reduce the budget deficit and promote growth, the department said Wednesday.

Geithner's meeting with top Democratic and Republican lawmakers comes as President Barack Obama's administration presses for a compromise deficit-reduction plan to avert looming mandated sharp spending cuts and tax increases that could drive the economy back into recession.

"Secretary Geithner will meet with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill tomorrow to continue discussing the actions we need to take to keep our economy growing and find a balanced approach to reduce our deficit," the department said in a brief statement.

Geithner will meet separately with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, as well as the minority leaders in both chambers, it said.

The fiscal cliff combination of spending cuts and tax hikes, which takes effect from January 1, is the result of legislation passed last year when Republicans and Democrats failed to reach a long-term deficit and budget deal, and was intended to be so drastic that it would spur compromise.

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