November 7th, 2012
02:57 PM ET
7 years 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. Marie MD

    If McConnell were really a turtle (sorry little guys) we would never see that ugly face of his ever again. Maybe now they can all work for the good of the country!!!

    November 7, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. gr8 usa

    Reaching out in a bipartisan manner...on DAY ONE! Let's hope everyone else responds like adults.

    November 7, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. ghostriter

    Boehner has already drawn his line in the sand, saying there is no mandate to raise taxes. I tend to disagree.

    Why can't republicans just take an "L" and keep it moving? No, they have to have a hissy fit. Freakin' losers.

    November 7, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Dean

    Reid, a Democrat, said Wednesday morning that "compromise is not a dirty word." ............But compromise is not bribing for votes or middle of the night secret sessions either.

    November 7, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I dare McConnell to obstruct this time around.

    November 7, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    I predict the GOP/Teatrolls will determine that they can make the "fiscal cliff" issue a "win" for themselves by being just obstructionist and dilatory enough to cause another credit rating downgrade, but then eventually just compromise and do what needs to be done.

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

    Harry is absolutely right, and it's past time for Repuke obstruction to END. NOW.

    November 7, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. Wilson

    Probably called to gloat and say, "I won, now do as I say (no matter how bad it is for the country)." Just like he did to McCain in 2008.

    November 7, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F

    Did Mitch McConnell meet with other republicans, and vow to make Obama a two term president? I have a tennis ball named "Wilson", but it seems a lot smarter than the wingnut.

    November 7, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. cali girl

    the new Robmey campaign slogan:
    A Winning Campaign,,,
    You didn't build that.

    November 7, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |

    This is a good start to the type of meetings that need to be had on a regular basis moving forward to ensure we are working collectively to move this country forward!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. RH

    Woke up had coffee, took a Romney, wiped a Ryan and flushed the repub party. Great day in America

    November 7, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. dandelatorre

    Raising taxes and closing loopholes on the rich should be a 'gimme', but the real meat to new revenues should come from Corporate America and Wall Street. Spain has it right...75% tax on corporate profits. They don't like it? Leave! Every Wall Street transaction should be taxed on an increasing sliding scale in proportion to amount of trade.
    The revenues should go to the private sector to relieve 50 years of wage suppression and in support of creating businesses with less than 50 employees who offer full company paid benefits.

    November 7, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. DENNA

    "Hello, John Boehner?" It's Barack Obama and I'm baaaaaacccckkkkkk!

    November 7, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. walleye46

    As long as the GOP adheres to the Tea Baggers mindset, they will be forever doomed. The people will remember come next election, and vote them out.

    November 7, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  16. Joseph-Ohio

    Now the real work begins, or does it? Republicans are you going to sit there and dig in for another four years, or are you going to finally work with The President? You cannot expect to survivie another fours years of simply working on one goal, "to defeat the President" You must now decide that you are going to do the job the American people sent you to Washington to do. ANYONE that still thinks we can fix our country without both spending cuts and higher taxes is crazy! Wake up and smell the change Republicans! You have to do more than represent the interest of "White Man America" . We are not The United White Man States of America, we are THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

    November 7, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. Littletim

    I hope that compromise means something other than supporting superficial steps that are more for politics than they are for improving our financial state. Tax the rich sounds good, but there is not enough there to make a difference so other than increasing the burden for the successful and giving those who want more a philosophical victory, I hope they can come up with some meaningful ways to steer our economy back into the realm of responsible thinking.

    November 7, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. Middle Class Independent Swing State Voters

    Stop the Republican Obstructionism now! The American people have spoken and it's time to work together for the betterment of our nation.

    November 7, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Way to phone it in obama. My man.

    November 7, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Dr. Phil

    John B is unpatriotic and does not care about the American people. He will go down in history as the most obstructionist in American politics. He's not good for America... John, its time to bury the hatchet of the old politics and move forward for the good of the citizens of this great country. It's time. Have some backbone and grow a spine for once in your life time. Are you too, a hate monger, or is it that big money has bought and sold you too? Gee, what a shame...

    November 7, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. walleye46

    A positive first step. Now all Obama needs is for these people to drop the Tea Bagger mentality and get down to business of helping to fix the economy. If they don't, they will be the next group of GOP to be voted out of office.

    November 7, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. Maatarishva

    A typical work day for Boehner's:

    Wake up
    Delete voice mails of the President
    Party with Eric Cantor and the Lobbyists in the afternoon
    Go home

    November 7, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. Al Dempsey

    The call went out. It's time for both sides to start working for the good of the country instead of what they perceive of as good for their party. The American people won and it's time for us to come together and end this vitriolic deviseveness that has permeated both political parties!

    November 7, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If the teapublicans can understand what it takes to get things done and the needs of the country, that would be a step forward. I don't think that they can at this point. If that is the case, then leave them out and get everyone else on the same page so that the Congress and president can get something done.

    November 7, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. Lives in the Buckeye state

    Well folks, the next 4 years for both the John Boehner/GOP and for President Obama goes like this.

    For Boehner and the GOP

    Year 1 – obstruct
    Year 2 – obstruct
    Year 3 – obstruct
    Year 4 – obstruct

    For President Obama

    Year 1 – The look at me I'm the POTUS again tour
    Year 2 – Campaigning for Democrats for the 2014 mid-terms
    Year 3 – Pushing what is left of his agenda through either congressional support after mid terms or by executive order
    Year 4 – Campaigning for the Democratic nominee for 2016 follwed up with a farewell tour

    Truth is, nothing is going to get done for the next 4 years and it'll be due to both sides.

    I do think the 2014 mids will go a little like 2010. Maybe not as decisive but along the same lines.

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