Obama to reach out to union, business leaders on fiscal cliff
November 12th, 2012
04:37 PM ET

Obama to reach out to union, business leaders on fiscal cliff

In an email sent to reporters on Sunday night, a White House official laid out President Obama’s meeting schedule for the week culminating in the first round of negotiations with Congressional leaders on how to avoid the impending fiscal cliff at the White House on Friday.

The president will be meeting with leaders from both parties at the end of the week, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

But before kicking off the conversation with Congress, the president will host two other meetings at the White House “focused on finding a balanced solution to our deficit challenges and moving our economy forward,” the administration official wrote.

First Obama will welcome “leaders from the labor community and other progressive leaders” to the White House on Tuesday. This group will include AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, SEIU president Mary Kay Henry, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and AFSCME president Lee Saunders.

On Wednesday, the president will meet with business leaders to hear their concerns. Among those planning to attend Wednesday’s meeting are two members of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, American Express Chairman and CEO Kenneth I. Chenault and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, who serves as chair of the jobs council. Executives from Aetna, Xerox, Honeywell, Walmart, Dow and Chevron are also expected to attend. On Friday, in addition to the meeting with Congressional leaders, Obama will also meet with “leaders of civic organizations,” according to the official’s statement.

Topics: Fiscal Cliff • Fiscal Reform • Unions

soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. rla

    Let the cliff happen and we can take our bitter pill all at once - The option is pushing the solution down the road until we bankrupt the country

    November 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Ray E. (Georgia)

      The Country is already Bankrupt. Over 16 Trillion in debt, thanks to 75 years of The Liberal's in charge. How to fix it? The Community Oranizer has no clue. The problem the Liberal's have is they want to stick it to the so-called rich without taxing the so-called middle class. That requires the Republician House to go along with the Obama/Liberal plan. Even if they do the problem of Obama Care still exists. Obama Care is the 800 Pound Gorillia in the room. But, some of you can't see the forrest for the trees. The question is will Obama step up or kick the can again? A balanced approch he said. Why? The Liberal's have never accepted a balanced approach before and we have the 16 Trillion Dollar Debt to prove it. The people voted for this. I think it's about they started paying for it. Obama and the Liberal's/Democrats have a tough decesion to make. The Ball is in their court. Good luck.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:38 am |
      • Daverelentless

        Reagan, Bush and Bush = $12 Trillion deficit. Your diatribe is hiolarious for it's avoidance of history.

        November 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
      • GetReal

        Ray- So it is all the liberals' fault for their policies over the past 75 years? LOL! Clinton gave a surplus to Bush, remember? Bush spent it on 2 wars and tax cuts. Remember?
        Why don't you right wingers get on board with the POTUS? Even after winning public and electoral majorities TWICE, you still trash him!
        People like you are TRAITORS!!!

        November 13, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • paul zieschang

      Does anyone besides me think that Obama is just trying to do the best for the country?? He doesn't need votes anymore and he'll be rich as all presidents have been after their terms. If I were him I believe I'd want a nice legacy of making a real difference in the sad state of this spoiled country.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Greg Brett

      @ria I agree, Over the Cliff now the recovery will be quicker.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  2. bobwhite

    Heavy on the union side of course...

    November 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Dave

      Why does he always have to reach out to the unions? Hasn't he given them enough passes on things?
      After all, it is a SMALL perventage of Americans who even work for the unions anymore. Most of us over the years wised up and realized the unions were more corrupt and worse to deal with than any MOST companies and management.

      November 12, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Clarke

      Please read article, not just headlines. Thanks

      November 13, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • jean2009

      Day one labor; day two business...that sounds pretty balanced to me.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:12 am |
      • Howard

        It looks like more White House – Union collusion ... which will result in more redistribution of wealth to the unions ... union workers getting more for doing less ... and, more political pay back to Obama.

        November 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  3. LanaG

    I was wondering why the 1600 report talks about everything but never addresses negative things about the President like why is it that 21 states since his re-election has suceded (petitioned) to leave the US? My source? the White House website of course... https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petitions. BTW – Texas (in 4 days) had already reached the required amount of signatures.By the way, this has not happened since the civil war with the Union and Confederates...

    November 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  4. BillSD33

    Bobwhite, please stop and read everything. He is having a (1) meeting with Labor. That would favor the unions! He is having another meeting with the Business leaders. Sounds like a good strategy to me!

    November 12, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Query

      No meetings planned for small businesses....the drivers of the economy.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  5. italmn

    Sounds like a good plan. The out come ??? Taxes will go up for the top 2 % plus allot of loop-holes will be closed for the corporations. Subsadies cut for Big Oil ( not all ) and the middle class will benifit on lower Taxes. The President will get what he wants. The people of this country are totally behind him.

    November 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • You're kidding right?

      Let's see how much the country is behind him when the Dems follow through with their plans to eliminate the home mortgage interest deduction. Technically not a tax increase since rates stay the same but still less money in middle America's pockets. Much like the Dems denying Obamacare is a tax increase even though calling it a tax increase in their court arguments is how they got it past the Supreme Court.

      November 13, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • Kool-Aid Police

      I think you mean 51% are behind him, the rest are under his thumb.

      November 13, 2012 at 7:13 am |
      • jean2009

        Regardless it sounds like a good plan.

        November 13, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  6. Enough is Enough

    Unions are a big part of the problem destroying jobs, oh I forget Obama's lips don't move unless the union says it's ok to speak. What a joke, the unions only care about themselves not the country.

    November 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • jean2009

      No the ones who actually only care about themselves are the 2% at the top.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Caramon

      Quick question Jean. How do you feel about the Hollywood crowd/ Many of them are in the top 2 percent.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  7. Not_going_to_work

    Nope, no way, no how, I don't believe it will work. Take the cliff now and lets get it over with...

    November 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  8. Dave

    It is mind boggling how many of you actually re-elected this man. His Economic and Foriegn policies are in shambles and you want more. Unreal.

    It is so pathetic and disgusting that it is downright funny and I'd laugh about it more if it wasn't going to affect me and my children so much.

    The best thing that can happen is for the House to just sit back and block every single thing the president wants to do for 4 years. IT will save us money and they can mess up our freedoms less.

    November 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  9. Sam Salma

    The people Mr. President, reach out to the people Mr. President, not the power brokers.
    the people put into office, twice. You owe it to them. Go to the people Mr. President.

    November 12, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  10. bill Fitzgerald

    And to think we could have had a job creator in the White House instead of a job killer. What were the people thinking is the question our granchildren will be asking.

    November 12, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • jean2009

      I actually think the grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be praising their decision...because they did not help make them serfs, peasants and slaves to the rich 1%.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Caramon

      Instead they may become serfs, peasants and slaves to the government.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  11. J.V.Hodgson

    Obama this time needs to make clear whatever House republicans say. I campaigned and won on:-
    1) Eliminating the income tax reductions on S250k earners = rates go up. Not for discussion.
    2) Spending and entitlements ( for latter see Bowles Simpson ideas) after that we can debate but no defense spending increase without increasing dividend income and capital gains tax rates to pay for it.
    3) For you and the Grover Norquists I give you a 28 % corporate tax rate paid for by corporate tax loophole elimination and coerporate tax breaks. Mini tax reform
    4) Complete AJA, it works.
    5) Face reality moderate or right wing tea party Republicans the Romney qed Republican party ( Romney/Ryan) majority economic and jobs plans ( not defined how paid for) were totally rejected by the electoral college, the popular vote, and gains of seats in both House and Senate for democrats. Clearly Republicans have erroneously claimed the people still support them. Maybe but sorry very much less so now than in 2010. When you " LOSE" seats and popular vote you can spin explain debate individual losses argue the details of why but not that you lost some in the way the constituion stipulates democratic decisions in America must be made. Retaining a lower majority is not victory or mandate, it begs the question what you got wrong" When as I recall you said you would win everything again House, Senate and Presidecy on YOUR policies... the latter ALL FAILED that is THE huge defeat.
    Enough, Republicans spent 2 years defeating tax rate increases on the rich and have now lost a current election to continue more of the same they say??
    Then I say President Obam make it clear you lead ( what republicans keep demanding) this nation by saying simply and clearly to Republicans:-
    Step one is increase tax rates on the over 250k ( the rest budget act replacement, tax reform, entitlement and spending cuts to hit budget act needs as a minimum we can meet and debate.) Otherwise you republicans based on a pledge to a PAC, not your consitutents, take us over the fiscal cliff. Then in the new debt downgrade environment we'll have to agree. But the starting point of rich tax rates go up and our compromise is we'll reduce corporate tax rates but pay for it by corpoarte tax loophole elimination and tax breaks to corporates.
    disagree step one and the fiscal cliff going over is your 100 % responsibility.
    Are you listening to my leadership step one is non debateable. I will even veto a non ratee approach as it cannot bring in the same revenue from income tax without damaging the lower income brackets taxes.

    November 13, 2012 at 12:42 am |
  12. Frank Marshall Davis

    Unions don't really create jobs, the only reason they're there is because they basically own Obama. He wouldn't even gotten elected if not for them, I doubt Obama will even listens to the business leaders, they're just coming so he can say he "reached out" to them.

    November 13, 2012 at 5:07 am |
    • Clarke

      So many small minds, read the article before you comment. Thank you.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:39 am |
      • Kool-Aid Police

        Even Moveon.org is there? What do they have to do with anything except the hardcore left?

        November 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  13. Kool-Aid Police

    What a funny headline, "Reach out to Unions"! He's done nothing BUT reach out to unions, starting with the the auto bailout and all through his first term. He'll give them whatever they want while ignoring the the business owners.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:12 am |
  14. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    It's not a cliff...it's a curb. Every provision was demanded by the Republicans. Let it be. The Republicans have no cards to play here. Let the Bush tax cuts and oil subsidies expire.

    November 13, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Ray E. (Georgia)

      The Republicians are the only ones that are trying to save your butt but you keep voting against yourself. You had better start planning your own life because the liars will abandon you the first sign of trouble.

      November 13, 2012 at 9:45 am |
      • Daverelentless

        The Republicans abandoned you long ago. In fact one might pinpoint that as 1880.

        November 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  15. snakebite201

    UNION LEADERS: that is the key word! Union leaders have nothing to do with creating jobs. Their job is to make sure that dues are paid so they get paid, so politicians get paid and round and round we go. I was a Union officer for 8 years. Unions drain employees and compnies. They are not what they should be!

    November 13, 2012 at 8:29 am |
  16. Jim E. Hofffuh

    As someone pointed out the other day here on CNN, 87% of American workers are NON union. How can 13% of the American workers "control" a President. Also, it sounds like all of the sore losers from last week are ready, willing and able to do what ever they can to continue to stop progress at every turn. That is the question that our grand kids will be asking: "why didn't the other team want to play?" "Why did they destroy the country just to attempt to embarrass the President?"

    November 13, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  17. Dar

    Let it expire, sounds like a good plan, we are behind you Mr president............have you idiots ever worked or is mommy and daddy still paying your way?
    Have you not ben reading the head lines? layoffs are happening because of this dorks decisions. Heath care cost are the main reason now and next(if Odumbo gets his way) will be because of the taxes going up on our employers.

    Or better yet, the emplyers dont lay off the workers and cut their hours down to part time. You idiots dont understand a thing but what you might get for free. (You think) someone has to pay for and that would you dumb a,,,s,,,s

    November 13, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  18. SuperD

    I'm part of the 49% that is under Obama's thumb. Go ahead Liberals, you figure this out. I'm going to sit on my butt and do nothing but criticize if this does not work. You wanted more Obama, you got him. I'm just waiting for you genius Progressives to amaze me.

    November 13, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Daverelentless

      How perfectly Republican of you. Advocating the continuance of what the Republicans in Congress have been doing for 4 years sounds like typical Republican Horse Puckey.

      November 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  19. Mark K.

    Everyone talking about not raising taxes on the rich like Mitt Romney...who only paid 13% taxes....and they say that the argument is that the rich create jobs. How much jobs did Mitt create last year? ZERO. But he did give millions to his Mormon "charity" that seems to build countless crystal cathedral temples. hmmm...thanks job creators.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  20. hoclerk

    Obama's reaching out will consist of reaching in to business leader's pockets, and handing out the cash he extracts to his corrupt union bosses. Obama's just another cheap Chicago thug – nothing more.

    November 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  21. hoclerk

    Notably, Obama is meeting with the "Gang of Four" union leaders first. Not surprisingly, he's invited business leaders last, to "hear their concerns". No promise to actually listen to them, of course.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • jerry

      business leaders hate obama...and it is jobs we need...good luck barry....you made your bed now lay in it.

      November 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  22. Steveo

    So I see Immelt is the chair of the Jobs Council. Yet he is STILL moving the GE Medical Division from Wisconsin to China! But no outrage from the left! Oh btw GE and several other large corporations paid no, nada, zero taxes last year and some for several years and again, no outrage and not a peep! Did anybody explain to Immelt, he is the chair of the AMERICAN Jobs Council?

    November 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • jerry

      we call it crony capitalism today...in the 1930-40s it was called Nazism.

      November 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  23. Dan B

    My father is a business leader. He wanted to cry when Obama won.

    November 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  24. GaryDMN

    Tax the unions, they seem to have money to throw around.

    November 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  25. Roy Maguire

    Republicans are slow to learn and illusionary about the real world. They think they have a God given right to prescribe to everyone their myiopic racist archaic ideology.

    November 14, 2012 at 7:53 am |
  26. smsbizads

    Why is it always one side or the other…? Both the president and the house are being childish (JUST AS BEFORE AND BEFORE THAT)!
    We need to boot out the total house and start over again. We put this boss hounds in office, we need to take them out.
    As for our President, He is looking to us to change the minds of the house…so he doesn’t have to do HIS JOB.

    November 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm |