WASHINGTON — President Obama has invited congressional leaders to the White House to try to salvage negotiations to avoid the “fiscal cliff” just days before nearly all taxpayers are due to see their taxes rise.
The White House said the president will meet Friday afternoon with House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco).
Obama last met with the foursome on Nov. 16 at the outset of the effort to avoid the combination of tax hikes and spending cuts dubbed the fiscal cliff. Economists say that the higher income-tax rates and lower government spending could send the economy back into recession.
After that optimistic and upbeat first meeting, negotiations were essentially whittled down to two people — Obama and Boehner. But those talks appeared to have fallen apart last week after Boehner was unable to win support for a his own proposal in the House. The speaker has since left it to the Senate to come up with a plan to avoid the cliff.