Obama Invites Congressional Leaders To ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Talks - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Obama Invites Congressional Leaders To ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Talks

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Even though he does have another four years, the president's immediate concern right now is dealing with a lame-duck Congress while trying to get our economy in order.

Automatic tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" are set to take effect on Jan. 1 unless there's a budget deal to avoid it. They would be automatic and widespread, affecting areas such as defense spending and unemployment benefits.

That's why President Barack Obama is inviting congressional leaders from both parties to the White House next week for talks on how to avoid that fiscal cliff at the beginning of next year.

"At a time when our economy is still recovering from the Great Recession, our top priority has to be jobs and growth," the president said in a statement Friday afternoon from the White House.

Obama made the remarks just days after being elected to a second term in office earlier this week. He said voters made it clear they won't tolerate inaction by lawmakers and demand compromise to avoid future financial disaster.

The tax increases and spending cuts would run over the next decade and amount to $7 trillion.

Obama reiterated his pledge that all Americans should pay their fair share in bringing the country to financial stability.

"If we're serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue," he said.

The president also urged lawmakers to act now to approve tax cuts for the middle class.

"I'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges," he said. "But I refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced."

Later, the White House said the president will veto any bill extending tax cuts for those making more than $250,000, which is in line with what he said on the campaign trail.

Fox's Peter Doocy reported that a White House official confirmed the invitation would be extended to lawmakers a few minutes before the president's remarks.

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