U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, lead negotiator for the Republicans, took the first step late Friday in making a fiscal cliff deal when he agreed to accept a tax hike for the wealthiest Americans (those making more than $1 million).
Boehner also agreed to a one-year increase to the debt ceiling.
In return, the GOP wants U.S. President Barack Obama to implement steep cuts to entitlement spending, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
"Boehner has now accepted the premise of higher rates. So now we're just arguing over details. I think it's a significant step," Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group told Reuters.