November 7th, 2012
02:57 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama telephones Republican, Democratic legislative leaders

(CNN) - President Barack Obama telephoned key congressional leaders on Wednesday, including the top Republican in both the House and Senate, an Obama official told reporters traveling with the president.

He placed the calls "to talk about the legislative agenda for the remainder of the year" and discuss the message that he believed voters sent on Tuesday, according to a statement on the calls provided to the reporters.

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Obama called House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, as well the top-ranking Democrats on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, it read.

"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," the statement said. "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."

Congress will remain divided between the two parties in the next session, with Republicans retaining control of the House and Democrats holding onto the Senate.

The most pressing issue facing Washington in the lame duck session of Congress is the fiscal cliff, a series of spending cuts and tax hikes set to go into effect in the new year. The package, known as "the sequester," was put in place as an incentive and consequence for the so-called "super committee," to reach an agreement on $1.2 trillion in federal budget deficit reduction over a decade.

But the committee failed a year ago this month, and since then the two parties have been at a stalemate, primarily over whether new revenue – tax increases – should accompany spending reductions.

Reid, a Democrat, said Wednesday morning that "compromise is not a dirty word."

"It is better to dance than to fight. It is better to work together," he said at a news conference. "Everything doesn't have to be a fight. Everything doesn't have to be a fight. That is the way its been the last couple of years. Everyone should comprehend, especially my Senate friends, that legislation is the art of compromise. It is consensus building."

Boehner will speak Wednesday afternoon on the fiscal cliff, his office said.


Filed under: 2012 • Harry Reid • John Boehner • Mitch McConnell • Nancy Pelosi • President Obama
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F

    Anonymous – Give it up. The house and senate are not in session. Did you know that by posting here, you could be missing the Glenn Beck radio show? Sign out and listen to the brain of the GOP.

    November 7, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. DustyOnes

    The Republicans should leave the table and let the Financial Cliff the Democrats created just happen.

    November 7, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Laurie

    I am so sick of everyone's opinion.... Right and Left. Do people who trash the other side actually think they are doing any good in finding a solution?

    Obama as the President of the United States.... is sworn in to represent and protect EVERY citizen of the United States. He did not do a good job last term of doing this, lets hope he can do it this term. To be successful, the middle ground must be found and built from. Neither the left or the right deserve to get their way....

    Maybe your candidate won, maybe they didn't.... Regardless of how you voted, our country has major problems and now those "hired" to do the job, need to do their job.

    November 7, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Deb in MT

    @Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I dare McConnell to obstruct this time around
    ===================

    Don't suggest that. Already Mitch McConnell has said that the President has to move toward the GOP, and then they'll 'compromise'. I cannot believe the level of arrogance and condesension McConnell et al have toward our duly re-elected President of the United States.

    I hope that Harry Reid will reconsider the 60 vote filibuster rule, as well as the secret hold that a Senator can exert–anonymously–on any legislation to keep it from a vote.

    No way should the GOP be allowed to run roughshod over the American people again!

    Oh, and we should insist that the GOP choose between their pledges to Grover Norquist–a private, unelected man–and taking the oath of office. Give up Grover, or GO HOME!

    November 7, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. The Unsub

    I would like to thank (four and the door, truth hurts, myviewis, and other haters) If it wasn't for your daily vitriolic posts, PRESIDENT OBAMA would not have been re-elected! I hope that this is the END of the Republican Party as WE know it!

    November 7, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. Wilson

    The republicans in the house better "dig in," to keep the policies of this administration from finishing the transformation of this country into greece, a "hand-out" "nanny state."

    November 7, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. TheVoice2

    If the GOP does not work with our President now, the 2014 mid-term will be a massacre.

    Step one for the GOP is to depledge from Grover Norvquist! Period!

    November 7, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Just saw John Boehner speaking on TV and from what I could see, I'm under the impression that speaker Boehner was elected president last night.

    The tone that the speaker was taking seemed to be one of " we'll work with you Mr.President.....just do as WE say do. "

    How did this guy keep his job ?

    November 7, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Floe

    The Tea Party is the nemesis for Republicans–and America. Their unwillingness to compromise is the root cause of the pathological partisanship gripping Congress. Dems and Repubs have firm beliefs but also have "compromise" in their dictionaries. Tea Baggers don't. So, Tea Baggers move out of the way and let the adults get to work.

    November 7, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. anoel2005

    What did we learn last night ? We learned that Obama's "dirty politics" worked. Lies and slander ruled the day. There will be more of it in the future, unfortunately.

    I blame the media too. They carry Obama's water. Journalism is dead.

    November 7, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    The Unsub
    I would like to thank (four and the door, truth hurts, myviewis, and other haters) If it wasn't for your daily vitriolic posts, PRESIDENT OBAMA would not have been re-elected! I hope that this is the END of the Republican Party as WE know it!

    November 7, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |

    ======================================

    The Unsub,

    If their heads haven't exploded they're probably sick right now.

    I for one am a bit sad if that is the case,as I'd like to hear more of their expert analysis on these here blogs.

    November 7, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. jsd3

    liberals are so stupid.... they think that republicans should join lockstep with oBUMa just because he won, wrong.... they should only vote for things that are going to advance america not pass things because oBUMa thinks it good..... if america wanted it that way they would have voted the rebulicans out.... but that didn't happen now did it.... our president has to give in a little and the rebulicans have to do the same...... but it is something oBUMa cannot do or will do....

    November 7, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Stuck_In_a_Blue_State

    You might want to start with passing a budget your own party supports. Three years in a row – zero votes. Hmmm. You cannot expect compromise if you dig your heals in and expect the other side to jump twice the distance Mr. President. This is not a "My way or the highway" initiative. You MUST meet in the middle. Remember, represent the majority of Americans. We are NOT a left nation (although it is certainly beginning to feel like it), we are center-right. I am certainly one that lives on the right, and very proud of it. But, I understand compromise. I am wiling to give, but you must too. You cannot demonize those that are successful, it will only squash incentives for others to pursue success. I can pay a bit more...but I ask that those who live life as a taker, do a bit more as a maker and actually contribute to society. This is called compromise !

    November 7, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Anthony

    Republicans will do what is necessary. There will be a grand bargain to avoid the fiscal cliff. Republicans may want to stick it to Obama, but they have no desire to kill the economy by forcing the country to go over the fiscal cliff. Their Wall Street backers won't allow them. An economic depression hurts Wall Street too, and that is a nonstarter for Republicans.

    November 7, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. freedom

    HUGE issues on the table – Taxes, Obamacare, investigation of Benghazi and the President's total neglect and cover-up, taking care of our Military, National Security, the enormous Deficit, Job Creation, Religious Freedom, Freedom in general ! These things are not going away because Obama was re-elected. They will be reckoned with one way or another – diligently and resolutely. And these photo ops are nauseating. Half the country still isn't into the Kum Ba Yah moment – and never were.

    November 7, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Conservative are stupid.

    That is all.

    When they get mad the name-calling comes out. Like they low-info voters some of them are are.

    Have a great November7,2012 !

    November 7, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Mike in Fairfax, VA

    @dandelatorre
    Wow!! Really!?! You mean the Spanish people who we all saw rioting in the streets this summer? Those guys?? You have GOT to be kidding me! And as far as these phone calls go... he did this last time too.

    November 7, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    Its interesting that the usual cast of characters in new name is out in force, demeaning the President. Romney made a graceful concession and called for unity: why can't you?

    November 7, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. Dee

    Last nigh the president spoke about business. This is his view of how American businesses should be.

    "I am hopeful tonight because I've seen the spirit at work in America. I've seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job."

    After turning them off for four years, and campaigning against them and their ideals, he does a complete 360 today.
    He is now saying he'll cut business taxes? Did I read this correctly?

    Did he actually listen to Mitt Romney's campaign speeches or maybe he read Mitt's 5 point plan. Whatever it takes sir.

    November 7, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. UncleBenny

    "The Republicans should leave the table and let the Financial Cliff the Democrats created just happen."

    Got news for you, pal. The so-called Financial Cliff is the result of BIPARTISAN legislation passed in 2011 to try to create a situation that was so undesirable that the two parties would be forced to get together and create a solution for the high deficit. So far, it hasn't worked. Perhaps because the Republicans refuse to consider anything that includes tax increases on their wealthy friends?

    November 7, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. Pete

    @stuck in a blue state,it wasn't a democrate that said he'd make it his job to make this president a one termer was it ,it was your obstructionistic party of Mitch McConnells the racist republican party wasn't it!!Just try denying it because the video is on You Tube and can be brought up any time bud,its your side who has to give or wait two years and see who gets canned and I'll put my money against yours it'll be the republicans who'll be outside looking in,just bet me because your asses are on the line now not our democrates,facts do hurt don't they!!

    November 7, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. joe

    I am sure the Boehner would love to work together, but his Master Grover Norquist would let him. Nothing will happen unless the GOP gets some balls to put the country before their Master. That will be hard since they are spineless worms.
    Can you imagine telling the President of the United States to do what he is told. Clowns. The people spoke and said it was the GOP house that stopped government from working, not the President.

    November 7, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Malory Archer

    DustyOnes

    The Republicans should leave the table and let the Financial Cliff the Democrats created just happen.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    you mad bro?

    November 7, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Malory Archer

    jsd3

    liberals are so stupid.... they think that republicans should join lockstep with oBUMa just because he won, wrong.... they should only vote for things that are going to advance america not pass things because oBUMa thinks it good..... if america wanted it that way they would have voted the rebulicans out.... but that didn't happen now did it.... our president has to give in a little and the rebulicans have to do the same...... but it is something oBUMa cannot do or will do....

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Actually, President Obama has been more than accomodating to the right. In fact, john bohner himself has said he got 98% of what he wanted from the President. Perhaps it's time for the right to compromise a bit.

    November 7, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    Anyone wanna guess how long we have to wait to see another POTUS candidate stupidly refuse to release numerous years of tax returns?

    November 7, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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