Obama Call to Action: Last Ditch ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Meeting At White House

Originally published: December 28, 2012
Updated: December 29, 2014 at 11:10 am

If a deal isn’t reached, many economists feel it could eventually lead the U.S. back into a recession.

President Obama held a press conference discussing ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations | Dec. 28, 2012 Morichesdaily.com

MORICHES, N.Y. (MorichesDaily) – With very little time left, President Obama met with congressional leaders at the White House today in a last minute attempt to reach a deal to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ come Jan. 1, 2013.

Obama says if Republicans, Democrats in Senate cannot reach deal, he will ask for vote on his ‘fiscal cliff’.

After meeting President Obama at the White House, Senate leaders said Friday they will work through the weekend and bring senators back into session on Sunday, in hopes of approving an agreement to protect taxpayers, the unemployed and the nation’s economy from the worst effects of the “fiscal cliff.”

“I’m hopeful and optimistic,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters that the next 24 hours would be “very important” toward efforts to lessen the harshest impacts of the fiscal cliff, a combination of automatic tax hikes and deep spending cuts due to take effect at the start of the new year.

“Whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect. Some people aren’t going to like it, some people are going to like it less,” Reid said on the Senate floor after the meeting.

President Barack Obama made a statement to reporters at 5:45 p.m., in which he urged congress to make a deal. The president seemed positive that a deal could be reached.

President Obama said, “The hour for immediate action is here. It is now.”

Economist say folks making $40,000 to $65,000 a year will have to pay $1,500 more a year in payroll taxes if no deal is reached.

As a result of Washington’s failure, if taxes go up, many people may cut back on spending and businesses could stop hiring.

But members of Congress are increasingly looking at the period immediately after the December 31 deadline to come up with a retroactive fix to avoid the steep tax hikes and sharp spending cuts that economists have said could plunge the country into another recession.

Republicans still held on to hope Thursday that a deal could still be reached to at least avert most of the tax increases on Jan. 1, to prevent a sudden cut in payments to medical providers treating Medicare patients and to extend expiring unemployment benefits. But both parties’ leaders said time is running out.

White House officials continued to put the onus on Republicans to clear a procedural path to a quick vote on a negotiated deal.

“The only way America goes over the cliff is if the Republican leaders in the House and the Senate decide to push us by blocking passage of bills to extend tax cuts or the middle class,” said the White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer.

“It’s a question of their willingness to put country before party.”

“Here we are, five days from the New Year, and we might finally start talking,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Republican leader.

The continuing impasse “demonstrates a tremendous lack of courage here in Washington to address the issues that need to be addressed — at every level,” said Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee.

“I have to be very honest,” Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said Thursday. “I don’t know timewise how it can happen now.”

“Any time you announce a meeting publicly in Washington, it’s usually for political theater purposes,” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said on Fox News Thursday night.

“When the president calls congressional leaders to the White House, it’s all political theater or they’ve got a deal. My bet is all political theater,” said Graham, adding that he did not believe an agreement could be reached before the deadline.

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2 Responses to Obama Call to Action: Last Ditch ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Meeting At White House

  1. […] until a midnight deadline for automatic tax rises and spending cuts, otherwise known as the ‘Fiscal Cliff‘. Barack Obama said agreement was within sight but discussions were […]

  2. […] recent negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) aimed at cutting a comprehensive deficit reduction deal, […]

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