Obama on Averting Fiscal Cliff: 'Achievable Goal' Possible in 10 Days

Obama on Averting Fiscal Cliff: 'Achievable Goal' Possible in 10 DaysWith 10 days to go before a landslide of tax increases for most Americans, President Obama today was optimistic that some type of plan was possible after Christmas despite a deep political divide on how to avoid the fiscal cliff.
At a news conference, Obama said he spoke earlier today with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“In the next few days, I’ve asked leaders of Congress to work towards a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class Americans, protects unemployment insurance for 2 million Americans, and lays the groundwork for further work on both growth and deficit reduction,” the President said. “That’s an achievable goal that can get done in 10 days.”
Obama’s comments come a day after Boehner failed House Republican conservatives blocked Boehner’s plan to prevent tax increases for all but those making over a million dollars a year.
“While we may have not been able to get the votes last night to avert 99.81 percent of the tax increases, I don’t think – they weren’t taking that out on me,” Boehner said when asked Friday if he was concerned about his leadership role. “They were dealing with the perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes.”
Reid urged House members to pass the Middle Class Tax Cut Act that makes permanent all of the Bush-era tax cuts on incomes of less than $250,000 for couples and $200,000 for individuals. The bill was narrowly approved by the Senate in July.
Obama said he was open to enacting a stopgap measure, and attacking the bigger question of reducing the deficit at a later date.
“As of today, I am still ready and willing to get a comprehensive package done,” the President said. “I still believe that reducing our deficit is the right thing to do for the long-term health of our economy and the confidence of our businesses. I remain committed to working towards that goal, whether it happens all at once or whether it happens in several different steps.”

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