Congressional leaders speak after White House fiscal cliff meeting
December 28th, 2012
05:34 PM ET
1 year ago

Congressional leaders speak after White House fiscal cliff meeting

Washington (CNN) - Congressional leaders spoke Friday after meeting about the fiscal cliff with President Barack Obama at the White House.

Congressional leaders attending the meeting was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Vice President Joe Biden was to be in attendance, the White House said, and an administration official said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would attend as well.

Obama made a statement shortly before 6 p.m.

McConnell and Reid spoke on the Senate floor.

Reid said, “we had a constructive meeting. We certainly hope that something positive will come from that. The Republican leader and I and our staffs are working and we’ll see what we can come up with. We shouldn't take a long time to do that. …

“If we come up with something, it’s not that easy. We’re dealing with big numbers and some of the stuff that we do is somewhat complicated. But I think it was a very positive meeting,” he said. “There was not a lot of hilarity in the meeting, everyone knows how important it is. It was a very serious meeting and it took an extended period of time as you all know waiting for us.”

McConnell spoke immediately after Reid, saying, “I share the view of the majority leader. We had a good meeting down at the White House.

“We are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the White House, in the hopes that we can come forward as early as Sunday and have a recommendation that I can make to my conference and the majority leader [Reid] can make to his conference and so we’ll be working hard to try and see if we can get there in the next 24 hours,” he said. “And so I’m hopeful and optimistic.”

Boehner’s office issued a statement which said he “reminded the group that the House has already acted to avert the entire fiscal cliff and is awaiting Senate action.”

“The leaders spent the majority of the meeting discussing potential options and components for a plan that could pass both chambers of Congress,” the statement read. “The speaker told the president that if the Senate amends the House-passed legislation and sends back a plan, the House will consider it – either by accepting or amending. The group agreed that the next step should be the Senate taking bipartisan action.”

In a paper statement, McConnell’s office also pointed to legislation which had passed the House.

“While the House already passed legislation in August to prevent tax hikes (a proposal Sen. McConnell supports), the President and Congressional leaders today agreed that the Senate must now act,” the statement read. “This will require a bipartisan approach. Members of the Senate will continue to work toward producing a bipartisan package in a timely manner to protect American taxpayers and jobs from a massive tax hike in January.”

Pelosi said the meeting was "constructive" and "candid."


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • Harry Reid • John Boehner • Mitch McConnell • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. John Tater

    History will not treat them well.

    December 28, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  2. Darrell Birck

    They don't want a deal...all of them want our taxes to go back to what they were so they can continue to spend. The tax on those making over $250K was not going to be enough. This is the only way they can keep all their pet projects...make the current taxpayers pay more...and the icing on the cake...both sides can and will blame each other. I said it in 2012...I will say it again in 2014 and 2016...FIRE THEM ALL!!!

    December 28, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  3. smitvict

    Reid is the same idiot that claimed Mitt Romney paid NO federal income taxes. No proof, just a big mouth. This is just more of the same mindless lunacy.

    December 28, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  4. Scott N

    I feel John Boehner is trying to hold out to see if he is reelected to the chair, In my opinon someone else should take that chair that is open minded for the American people not just the rich. enough is enough all of you on the hill have million in the bank. But the poor working class people will be hurt like myself and also stop laming the federal worker for the countries problem you all have not looked at yourself as the problem. you all forget you work for the people not for yourself.

    December 28, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  5. Homer10

    Boehner, this is all on you, and your Republicon friends. See you can't agree to anything, because you are bought and paid for by your wealthy friends, and they don't want their taxes to go up. But Boehner realize one thing. Those billionairs only have 1 vote each. Us middle class folks have thousands of times more votes. Those billionairs might be able to give you money, but they can't give you what you really need, and that is votes. In November 2014 you will realize this fact. Right now, you are clueless.

    December 28, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  6. Doug

    I am not sure if the meetings will help, but did you notice that all of them except Beohner has positive, constructive comments. Yea it's part show, but it is also a type of diplomacy. Face it John's the issue, the other three aren't angels but they get there are times when work has to be done. Only one person is holding it up.

    December 28, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  7. BeverlyNC

    Republicans wil do NOTHING. This is a game to them. Boehner is delaying so he can try to keep his Speaker seat. Republicans are so ignorant with their silly tax pledge that they want us to go off the cliff so they can then technically "lower" taxes once the Bush tax cuts expire and go back up. Republican obstruction and absurdity continues. The nation is sick of Republican do-nothing non-leaders. We need to get rid of all of them come the 2014 midterms so real work can get done. When Pelosi was Speaker they were passing bills for the People at a rate of a 100 a month. Boehner hasn't passed 100 bills in 4 years..He hasn't passed 10 because Republicans in Congress want America to fail just to say President Obama failed to get anything passed. None seem to realize the blame and betrayal falls on their shoulders for betraying We the People.

    December 29, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  8. Jerry

    Reid said, “we had a constructive meeting."

    Mr. Reid, too bad you, your clueless president and most Democrats are so DESTRUCTIVE!

    December 29, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  9. alml van der bruggen

    We in Holland always blame the multi-party system in our country when politics is unable to do their job. It is clear on the fiscal cliff-issue again that also a two party system has the same problem. it's the corrupting influence of power that's in essence the problem..

    December 29, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  10. Gee

    Failure to reach an agreement rest squarely on John Beohner shoulders. He is a liar and can't be trusted. The idea that in order to raise the taxes of most fortunate American, we must equally cut the benefits of the most vulnerable or less fortunate Americans is a ridiculous position to take.

    December 29, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  11. JAMES MELCHING

    Same old History lesson of Rome Burning while ile the little people Fiddle to fulfill their own Ego.

    December 29, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  12. GI Joe

    They get a 1.7% increase in pay next year. Approx. $5000 each. For the Hoouse, who will work only 60 days, that is absurd.

    Soc Sec goes up 1.7% and it amounts to $200, $300, or $400 Approx. And it's OUR money that we paid in. Now THAT is absurd.

    December 29, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  13. Veteran Expat

    I'm actually glad to hear that there was some joking and levity in the meeting. I think that's the sort of tone that a meeting should have in which people are actually willing to act like reasonable human beings and work together to make a compromise. They are generally far too busy taking themselves much too seriously and playing politics. A bit of laughter goes a long way toward helping people put aside their egos and work out their differences to achieve a compromise.

    December 29, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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