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
Unless Congress takes action, all bills paid by the federal government for goods, services or property after January 1, 2012 will be subject to a 3% tax withholding. The original provision was a revenue-raiser inserted into the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act signed by President George W. Bush back in 2006. The idea was that the 3% withholding would count toward the vendor’s tax liability, meaning that at the end of the year whatever money was withheld by the government from a vendor would count as part of the total amount owed by a company back to the government in taxes.
It was seen as one way to ensure that contractors hired by the government are paying what they owe in taxes.
But because the withholding doesn't take into account the actual size of a company’s tax liability, only the revenue it is due to receive from the government, opponents like the Government Withholding Relief Coalition view the provision as "forcing companies to provide the federal government with an interest-free loan."
Well, now both the Obama Administration and Republican leadership in the Senate are on the same page when it comes to repealing this withholding. Today the Office of Management and Budget released a Statement of Administration Policy supporting the passage of H.R. 674 – a bill “to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the imposition of 3 percent withholding on certain payments made to vendors by government entities.” FULL POST
According to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: At the request of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner due to scheduling conflicts in organizing their caucuses, the President’s meeting with bipartisan leaders will now take place at the White House on Tuesday, November 30.
Washington (CNN) - So much for getting things off on a post-election bipartisan note. President Obama's plan to have a bipartisan meeting at the White House on Thursday fell apart late Tuesday amid finger-pointing about who's to blame for delaying what had become informally known as the "Slurpee Summit."
Days of scheduling negotiations broke down after Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and John Boehner told the White House the crush of business setting up the new Congress while juggling a lame duck session of the old one was too much, according to officials in both parties.
(CNN)–The White House is firing back at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after he told the National Journal that "the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."
With his usual sarcastic tone, spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters "maybe Senator McConnell is interested in running for President."
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