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) - Embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner did not attend the picnic for members of Congress and their staffs at the White House Wednesday night, but that's where some of his colleagues found out he was going to resign.
As CNN's Dana Bash reported, the news of Weiner's impending resignation over a "sexting" scandal started with a phone call to fellow New York Rep. Steve Israel. Sources say Weiner called Israel, who was at the White House Congressional picnic, to tell him. Israel then gave the phone to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who also was at the White House event, so that Weiner could officially inform the leader of his decision.
All of this was unfolding as hundreds of lawmakers, staff and their families roamed the South Lawn of the White House, listening to a live U.S. Navy band and indulging in picnic fair with “corny dog” and kettle corn stations, as well as fried chicken and hamburgers.
Bash's source said that Israel and Pelosi went near a tree on the White House grounds to talk to Weiner privately. Weiner told them that he was resigning, and was very remorseful about what he did to his family and his colleagues, especially for causing such a distraction, the source added. Weiner also told Israel and Pelosi that he had talked to his wife, who returned Wednesday from an overseas trip with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Pelosi said Thursday that Weiner will hold a news conference later in the day. She said she would issue a statement after Weiner's news conference.
Washington (CNN) - Two Democratic congressional aides tell CNN Congressional Correspondent Brianna Keilar that House Democratic leaders are going to the White House to meet with Vice President Joe Biden at 2 pm to discuss how to move forward with extending the Bush era tax cuts. The same group was also expected to meet with President Obama this afternoon as soon as he returns to the White House from North Carolina. The group is expected to include Speaker Pelosi, and House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer.
MUMBAI, India (CNN) – It wasn't quite a presidential endorsement, but it was warm enough that outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will take it.
White House aides are signaling late Friday that President Obama expects that Pelosi will probably win her bid for House Minority Leader and he's looking forward to working with her if she does win, even though the prospect of Pelosi staying front and center will cause heartburn among conservative Democrats and wild cheering by Republicans.