US President Barack Obama will not make a new "fiscal cliff" offer at his high-stakes meeting with Congressional leaders at the White House.
Instead the president is spelling out again a plan he says can pass the House and Senate, a high-placed source said.
Mr Obama wants a Bill to halt looming tax increases on all families making 250,000 dollars (£154,614) a year or less and would extend unemployment benefits to many people about to lose it. His proposal would also cover other issues as the January 1 deadline nears.
If he does not get a counter proposal that can pass both chambers, Mr Obama will press for a straight up-or-down vote on his plan, the source said.
Friday's crucial meeting is a last chance effort to avoid the austerity measures known as the "fiscal cliff" that kick in next week and threaten to spin the country back into recession.
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi were all attending the meeting. Vice President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner were also there.
Mr Obama's meeting with Congressional leaders - the first since November 16 - started at 3.10pm (2010 GMT). The president, who had cut short his Hawaiian holiday to return to Washington, called for the meeting as top lawmakers blamed each other while claiming to be open to a reasonable last-minute bargain. It was likely to centre on which income thresholds would face higher tax rates, extending unemployment insurance and preventing a cut in federal Medicare payments to doctors, among other issues.
For Mr Obama, the 11th-hour scramble represented a test of how he would balance strength derived from his re-election against an avowed commitment to compromise in the face of divided government. Despite early talk of a grand bargain between Mr Obama and Mr Boehner that would reduce deficits by more than two trillion dollars, the expectations were now far less ambitious.
The issue has been Mr Obama's first test of muscle after his re-election in November. At stake are Bush-era tax cuts that expire on December 31 and revert to the higher rates in place during the administration of President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.
Nearly all Americans and branches of the federal government, including the military, would be affected.