Obama: Cliff Talks Start Next Week — No `Drama,’ at the White House

Photograph by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Barack Obama said he invited Congressional Republican leaders to come to the White House to discuss ways of the avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.

Let the talks begin.

President Barack Obama has invited the chief Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress to the White House next week to begin talks on a plan to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

“The American people voted for action,” Obama today in an appearance at  the White House, delivering  his first public remarks on the budget and deficit since winning re-election this week.

The president maintains that any solution must include spending cuts and raising revenue, including raising taxes on the wealthiest.

The election showed “a majority of Americans agree with my approach,” he said, calling for immediate action by lawmakers to prevent rates from rising for middle-income taxpayers when the Bush-era tax cuts expire at year’s end. “We shouldn’t need long negotiations or drama.”

House Speaker John Boehner today said he too is ready to seek “common ground,” but resists the idea of higher tax rates. He is willing to consider new revenue coming from“ tax reform,” the elimination of unjustifiable tax exemptions, and wants entitlement spending reformed as well. He declined to detail any more today, saying neither he nor the White House should be boxed in.

Mark Silva contributed to this report. 

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