Daily Tax Update - November 16, 2012: Obama and Top Congressional Leaders Meet on "Fiscal Cliff"

OBAMA AND TOP CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS MEET ON “FISCAL CLIFF”: President Obama and top congressional leaders today met and expressed optimism that they could avert the fiscal cliff.  The President met today with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).  Also in attendance were Vice President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, and Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling.

  • President Obama called on the congressional leaders to avert the fiscal cliff. Obama said, "I want to welcome the congressional leadership here and thank them for their time. I think we're all aware that we have some urgent business to do. We've got to make sure that taxes don't go up on middle-class families, that our economy remains strong, that we're creating jobs. And that's an agenda that Democrats and Republicans and independents, people all across the country share. So our challenge is to make sure that we are able to cooperate together, work together, find some common ground, make some tough compromises, build some consensus to do the people’s business."
  • Speaker Boehner said that he proposed a framework for dealing with the cliff that would tie revenue to spending cuts "consistent with the president’s call for a balanced approach." Boehner said, "I believe that we can do this and avert this fiscal cliff."  McConnell said, "We’re prepared to put revenue on the table as long as we solve the real problem."
  • Majority Leader Reid said, "We have a plan, we're going to move forward on it. And we're going to work during the Thanksgiving recess."  Reid added that they plan to meet with the President again the first week of December.

CAMP:  TAX REFORM WILL PASS IN 2013:  In remarks to the Tax Foundation yesterday, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp said, "Tax reform is more necessary now than it was in 1986, and that is why the Ways and Means Committee will write, act on and pass comprehensive tax reform legislation in 2013.  Let me repeat that: we intend to move a comprehensive tax reform bill in 2013 – no matter what."  Camp continued, “Now, whether 1986 is the playbook for how to do tax reform is still unknown.  One thing that is virtually undisputed though is that tax reform always takes leadership from the Oval office. . . . So, the President has a choice to make before the end of the year.  Does he simply want to stand for higher tax rates on top of a broken code, or will he support comprehensive tax reform that strengthens our economy?  I’ve said it time and time again – but that won’t stop me from saying it again here tonight – comprehensive tax reform is THE path forward.  Tax reform can get more revenues for the President and the Democrats.  And, tax reform can get more economic growth and job creation for the American people. As Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, I urge President Obama to show leadership – leadership that is necessary– and I ask him to join us to make comprehensive tax reform a reality.”   

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