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She also said she was more focused in the meeting on sending the public a “message of confidence” so that consumers and financial markets will be calmed, knowing that an agreement is in the works.

“We should have a goal in terms of how much deficit reduction, we should have a deadline before Christmas, we should share some milestones of success so that confidence can build as we reach our solution,” she said.

White House press secretary Jay Carney also called the meeting “productive.”

“Both sides agreed that while there may be differences in our preferred approaches, we will continue a constructive process to find a solution and come to a conclusion as soon as possible,” Mr. Carney said in a statement.

Because changes to the tax code and entitlement programs are too complex to complete by the end of the year, aides said Mr. Boehner’s goal in the coming weeks is to settle on targets for long-term revenue and savings from entitlement programs.

“Once we settle on those targets, the speaker proposed, we can create simple mechanisms in statute that would achieve those revenue and spending goals,” according to one Boehner aide. “They would be in place unless or until more thoughtful policies replace them.”

Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees staff will spend the next week working on the framework with the goal of presenting it to congressional leaders when they return to Washington after the Thanksgiving holiday. They will then work on negotiating the finer points of a deal over the next few weeks and pass the framework the weekend before Christmas.

— Staff writer Susan Crabtree contributed to this article.