Obama, Boehner Discuss ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Stalemate

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met at the White House to discuss the “fiscal cliff,” while rank-and-file Republicans stepped forward with what they called pragmatic ideas to break the stalemate.

    The Obama-Boehner meeting Sunday was the first between just the two leaders since Election Day. They agreed not to release details of their weekend conversation, but aides emphasized that the lines of communication remain open.

    Seeking to rally popular support for his position, Obama was heading to Michigan on Monday to speak to auto workers at a plant outside Detroit. It’s the latest in a string of campaign-style appearances Obama has held in recent weeks echoing a theme he stressed repeatedly during his campaign: that the richest Americans should pay more to help reduce the deficit.

    Jeff Immelt, GE’s chief executive and head of a presidential advisory council on competitiveness, said a deal needs to be hammered out now and increased revenue is going to have to be part of the deal.

    “The millions of people that work for us, their lives are in flux. And this is incredibly critical we get this done now,” Immelt said in remarks aired Monday on “CBS This Morning.”

    He added: “Everyone knows we need revenue,” because spending cuts alone won’t solve the problem.

    Republicans in Congress and Obama have been at loggerheads over how much revenue, or tax increases, should be included in a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.

    GOP mavericks are putting increased pressure on their party’s leaders to rethink how they approach negotiations with Obama in the wake of a bruising national election that left Democrats in charge of the White House and Senate.

    “There is a growing group of folks looking at this and realizing that we don’t have a lot of cards as it relates to the tax issue before year end,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told “Fox News Sunday.”

    If Republicans agree to Obama’s plan to increase rates on the top 2 percent of Americans, Corker added, “the focus then shifts to entitlements, and maybe it puts us in a place where we actually can do something that really saves the nation.”

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