After victory, Obama urges bipartisan work to avoid fiscal crisis
U.S. president tells parties' leaders to 'put aside their partisan interests'; Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives: We won't solve the problem of our fiscal imbalance overnight
President Barack Obama called congressional leaders from both political parties overnight and on Wednesday to express his commitment to work together on curbing the deficit and reducing taxes, the White House said.
"The president reiterated his commitment to finding bipartisan solutions to: reduce our deficit in a balanced way, cut taxes for middle-class families and small businesses and create jobs," a White House official said in an email.
"The president said he believed that the American people sent a message in yesterday's election that leaders in both parties need to put aside their partisan interests and work with common purpose to put the interests of the American people and the American economy first."
Obama spoke to Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, the White House said.
Speaking later Wednesday, Boehner said that Washington should find a short-term solution to avoid the fiscal cliff and then work on a substantive debt reduction plan in 2013.
The White House and lawmakers have less than two months to deal with the fiscal cliff or $600 billion worth of spending cuts and tax increases due to go into effect at the end of the year.
"We won't solve the problem of our fiscal imbalance overnight," Boehner said after Obama his second term in the White House and Republicans won enough seats to maintain control in the House.
Acknowledging Obama's re-election victory, Boehner said House Republicans were willing to work with the White House and said they would accept new revenue under the right conditions.
"What we can do is avert the cliff in a manner that serves as a down payment on - and a catalyst for - major solutions, enacted in 2013, that begin to solve the problem," Boehner said in prepared remarks.