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Obama calls congressional leaders, talks 'fiscal cliff'

November 07, 2012|By Kathleen Hennessey
  • President Obama, seen Monday, called congressional leaders Wednesday after his reelection to get a jump on dealing with the so-called fiscal cliff.
President Obama, seen Monday, called congressional leaders Wednesday… (Carolyn Kaster / Associated…)

CHICAGO -- Hours after winning a second term, President Obama reached out to leaders on Capitol Hill for what will likely be the first of many private conversations about the daunting fiscal mess awaiting them all.

The so-called fiscal cliff was the topic of the calls to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Obama placed the calls Tuesday night and Wednesday morning from Chicago, where he celebrated his win.

In a statement, the White House said the president called to discuss the “legislative agenda for the remainder of the year.” But it’s very clear there’s only one major item on that agenda: dealing with a morass of expiring tax cuts, scheduled budget cuts and a rising debt.

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“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,” the statement said.  

How that is supposed to occur remains unclear. As the lawmakers, pundits and reporters continued to chatter about Obama's win and the hurdles ahead, the White House was decidedly quiet on Wednesday.

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