The bipartisan leadership of Congress sounded optimistic what they addressed reporters outside the entrance to the West Wing on Friday following their meeting with the president, vice president and members of the White House economic team. House Speaker John Boehner spoke first, calling the meeting "constructive" and vowing to keep additional revenue on the table:
We had a very constructive meeting with the president to talk about America's fiscal problem. I outlined a framework that deals with reforming our tax code and reforming our spending and I believe that the framework that I've outlined in our meeting today is consistent with the President's call for a fair and balanced approach. To show our seriousness, we've put revenue on the table, as long as it's accompanied by serious spending cuts. And while we're going to continue to have revenue on the table, it's going to be incumbent for my colleagues to show the American people that we're serious about cutting spending and solving our fiscal dilemma. Now I believe that we can do this and aver the fiscal cliff that's right in front of us today.
Next, Majority Leader Harry Reid stepped up to the the microphone. Using the common parlance of Washington D.C., Reid also called the meeting "constructive," repeatedly saying that he felt "very good" about what the leaders discussed, and promising not to wait until the last possible moment to get a deal done:
This isn't the first time that we've dealt with these issues. We feel we understand what the problem is and we've felt very – I feel very good about what we were able to talk about in there. We have the cornerstones of being able to work something out. We're both going to have to give up some of the things that we know are a problem. And so it's like when you arrive at a point where we all know something has to be done. There is no more 'let's do it some other time.' We're going to do it now and I think we feel very comfortable with each other and this isn't something we're going to wait until the last day of December to get it done. We have a plan. We're going to move forward on it. We're going to work during the Thanksgiving recess. We're going to meet with the president when we come back the first week – at least that's as I understand it. So I think it was a very constructive meeting. I feel very good about what we were able to talk about.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke next, emphasizing that her priority was to send a strong signal to consumers and the markets that the leaders are committed to finding a solution. Pelosi also acknowledged that if they aren't able to find a solution, the consequences could be severe: FULL POST
Today President Obama begins negotiations with congressional leaders on how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff – severe budget cuts and tax increases that are set to go into effect at the end of the year. House Speaker John Boehner, Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will all come to the White House at 10:15 for a meeting with the president and the Vice President Biden in the Roosevelt Room. Later Obama and Biden will meet with civic organizations and other outside groups for yet another listening session on the potential impacts of going over the fiscal cliff.
There is no press briefing today. Here's the schedule as released by the White House: FULL POST
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama made separate calls on Saturday to House Speaker John Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to discuss ongoing budget negotiations, according to a statement released by the White House.
In the weekly GOP address released before the call, Boehner made it clear that bipartisan cooperation was not immediately within reach. “You’ve heard Democratic leaders claim an agreement has been reached on this issue, but let me be clear,” he said. “There is no agreement. Republicans continue to fight for the largest spending cuts possible to help end Washington’s job-crushing spending binge.”
During the call, the president affirmed the need to cut spending and acknowledged progress toward reaching a bipartisan compromise to make $73 billion in spending cuts this year.
His team has been given a directive to work through the weekend and reach resolution on what will be eliminated, with an instruction to steer clear of any cuts that undermine economic growth, job creation and the ability to “win the future.” The president voiced opposition to cuts that undermine those goals and any efforts to use the negotiation process as a way to further political agendas unrelated to the reduction of the deficit and spending.
Though he recognized the progress made toward spending legislation, Obama warned that the process is running out of time, and encouraged both parties to reach a solution in time to avoid a shutdown of government and possible threat to economic recovery.
Following the call, Boehner spokesman, Michael Steel objected to the notion of a compromise, saying, "The speaker reminded the president that there is no 'deal' or agreement on a final number, and he will continue to push for the largest possible spending cuts."
Do you think the first lady's approval rating rubbed off on Senate majority Leader Harry Reid and helped him pull out that win?
Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) – President Obama just appeared at a rally Friday in support for Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid. CNN White House Producer Shawna Shepherd snapped this shot.