President Obama, shown on Election Day in Chicago, is diving right into the fiscal cliff issue.(Photo: Jewel Samad, AFP/Getty Images)
President Obama begins his campaign today to push Congress to accept a
"balanced" plan to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff" by sitting down
with members of his political base.
Obama will meet at the White
House today with labor leaders including AFL-CIO President Richard
Trumka; Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International
Union; Lee Saunders of the American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees; and Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National
The heads of several progressive
organizations - including leaders of the Center for American Progress,
the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and MoveOn.org - have also
been invited to participate in today's meeting.
The groups he will
meet today, all of which campaigned for his re-election, are expected
to press the president to avoid deep cuts to programs like Medicare and
On Wednesday, Obama will turn his focus to the
business community and has invited a dozen business leaders to the White
House including Mark Bertolini, president, chairman and CEO of Aetna;
Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO of Xerox; Kenneth Chenault, chairman and
CEO of American Express Co. and Mike Duke, president and CEO, Walmart
his re-election victory last week, Obama made clear that he believes
the majority of Americans believe that the best way to cut the deficit
includes a mix of budgetary cuts and raising taxes on the wealthiest
So far, House Speaker John Boehner has said that he's
only willing to raise revenue by closing tax loopholes, but he insists
that GOP lawmakers are unwilling to raise taxes.
Rep. Paul Ryan,
the GOP's vice presidential nominee and House Budget chairman, backed up
Boehner in his first public comments since he and Mitt Romney were
"Yes, you can increase revenues without having to raise tax rates," Ryan said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
published Tuesday. "Our fear is that if you raise tax rates you hurt
economic growth. You hurt small businesses. So through tax reform you
can get higher revenues without damaging the economy."
scheduled to meet with both parties' congressional leadership on Friday
before setting off for Asia. More than $600 billion in tax hikes and
budgetary cuts are set to go into effect on Jan. 1 if the White House
and lawmakers don't come to terms and strike a deal.