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. Malory Archer


    You might want to start with passing a budget your own party supports.


    This might come as a shock to you, the the President doesn't write the budget – CONGRESS does. The right might want to stop adding poison pill legislation such as anti-women's rights issues to budget bills. Then maybe the President's own party might be willing to support a budget.

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


    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.


    you mad bro?

    November 7, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Malory Archer


    Where are my good GOP_Nut friends from another mother – four and the door, truth hurts, myviewis, and the other haters?


    They're waiting for the rightwing noise machine to feed them their talking points.

    November 7, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Obamacide: The Death of a Country

    What 'fiscal cliff"??? There is no problem here for Democrats. They are going to get all the massive taxes they all love and demand and all it is going to cost is $110 billion in immediate spending cuts. Let Obama and the Democrats take the lead as they control 2/3 of the government.

    Enough is enough. If they want to be fiscally irresponsible let them be and let them reap the benefits and consequences. Republicans have to STOP trying to save the Democrats and the country from the Democrats. Let the country experience the full leftist economy and tax load. I can guarantee nobody will like it.

    Again, LET IT HAPPEN REPUBLICANS. Give the Democrats EVERYTHING they want, and call them on their constant BS. I DEMAND that you do NOT continue to push all this debt on my kids future!

    November 7, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. EJ

    The republican party should have no right to complain about a deficit and Great Recession they created. Who in their right mind destroys something then complains because it is destroyed? The republican party simply wants to help millioniares become richer by cutting the salaries and benefits of their employees. If you notice they love China because they can get the people their to work for slave wages and no benefits. This is what they have instore for american workers. Slavery = 0 profit for millioniares, good thing for american workers – we have Barack Obama and the Democratic Party to prevent it from happening.

    November 7, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. joe

    the GOP does not care about this country. the only thing they crave is power and serving big business and the rich. they could care less about the majority of americans. president obama was elected TWICE by the american people. this is called democracy. get over it.

    November 7, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Samuel Johnson

    Not once has anybody asked "how" did our economy come to be the way it became - how Resident Obama "inherited" the inevitable economic crisis derived from his immediate predecessor George Bush. Also, nobody had the guts to ask What happened to the National Security Systems when they were bridged by alleged terrorists who easily struck the Pentagon on American soil (our most powerful war administrative headquarter on earth!) - yet the pretentious Romney and his Palin Republicans badmouthed Obama over the Benghazi incident. To vindicate Obama against the wicked onslaught of the Republicans and the Mormon/Joseph Smith backed Mitt, even Extra-terrestrial Beings decended to earth to join the vote and unmatched victory in support of (this generous, hear-like-a-little kid) Barack Obama! The lying, dishonest,arrogant, self-righteous, cunning Mormon was embarrassingly defeated!

    November 7, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Ken in MD

    Obama: Let's all work together to solve the Nation's problems.
    Reid: Together we can accomplish a lot.
    Boehner: I need to freshen up my tan.

    November 7, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. GOP = Greed Over People!

    President O ran and won re-election with an agenda of increasing revenue by increasing taxes on those making $250K and up.

    He was elected by winning the popular vote and electoral college.

    His "mandate" is he is the first Presidenr elected by saying he would increase taxes.

    Therefore, he is duly and legally elected and represents the majority of voting Americans.

    Boehner needs to realize the President IS REPRESENTING THE PEOPLE, not Boehner, shut-up the "will of the people" and get to work saving this great country from the GOP contrived "fiscal cliff".

    November 7, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Allen

    Obama was elected leading the popular vote by more that four percent. You lost, whiners. It wasn't about the swing states it was about America saying we are sick of whining Republican idiots. Take a hint and shut your pie holes.

    November 7, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Reality Checker

    Obstructionist policy has backfired, and if it continues will accelerate the decline of the Republican Party.

    The people have spoken.

    November 7, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. Name

    Hope the president signs emergency unemployment extentions real soon millions will hurting come years end when benefits run out

    November 7, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. The REAL Truth...

    @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."
    The ongoing display of illiteracy and ignorance from posters such as this is typical lash back – twist the FACTS to support your amnesiac perspective. NEWSFLASH: The Grand Obstructionist Party LOST ... All that rhetoric from Mourdock, Akin, Munster and the Twit, along with Hannity and co did nothing but harm your candidates chances, as did all the negative advertising. $8 BILLION spent to maintain the status quo in DC ??

    FACT: Greece's current condition was due to ongoing excessive spending by the conservative administrations. Those imposing the austerity measures and left wingers.. do some checking pls.

    And. .down in red-state Texas, the county of Dallas (yes, Dallas, TX) OBAMA won!! The same red state run by Republicans where the State Treasurer recently reported a concern over the MASSIVE increase in DEBT (10x) being carried by local municipalities over the last 10 yrs. Who has been running these same municipalities over those 10 yrs... clue: – it's not the Democrats.

    November 7, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. Samuel Johnson

    Thousands died on American soil, thousands more (young–like innocent 21-year olds) died for nothing over a lie coined by the Bush administration and the soon-to-die Dick Chiney with is propaganda movement - yet not a single politician dared to challenge the witch-hunt that was put in place to "derail" Obama over the Benghazi mishap! Obama is a Cosmic Phenomenon (like President Bill Clinton)–born to win no matter what his enemies place in his way! Did youi feel the whole Vibrate at the victory of this undefeatable genius, Barack H. Obama? The Christian Bible says it's God who set rullers over nations - let's pay special attention to what has just happened with this color-blind Black man voted into power by a White majority!

    November 7, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Shirley Smith

    President Obama You need to keep your promise and save the American horses from horse slaughter, they are not raised for food and Americans do not eat horses. Americans love horses always have and always will. You need to step up to the plate and pass The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act and stop the war on our American horses today!! Ban horse slaughter for good!!!

    November 7, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. Brian

    Truth is Boehner has little power without a "compromise" with Pelosi, the lame duck session of knuckleheads he is working with/have no reason to agree to anything.............. so he has to get w/a group of democrats to get anything done............

    November 7, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. The REAL Truth...

    @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.
    Since you neglected to educate yourself on WHY the budgets did not get a single Dem vote.. it had nothing to do with the budget contents. It was a unanimous show of support for the POTUS by REJECTING the anti-abortion and Defense spending increase riders attached to that budget bill. Please check your FACTS.
    The technique has been used by the GOP for four yrs... add unacceptable riders to every piece of legislation. Now is the time for THEM to reach across the aisle and work WITH the POTUS. He's been reaching (and been rejected) for some time now.

    November 7, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. Let's Move Forward

    The majority have spoken and if republicans in the Senate and Congress do not know this in 2014 we are cleaning house. Republicans need to take control and get rid of the tea party or they will cease to exist. Learn to work with President Obama or leave Washington.

    November 7, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. California Gary are wrong my friend. If dirty tricks, lies, and slander had worked we would have a President-elect Romney today. They didn't, and we don't.

    November 7, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Romney is NOT My Hero

    Why is Mr. Orange Glow Boehner in this picture? UGH!!!! Just the thought of this obstructionist still being in some sort of power makes my stomach churn. I hope he finally sees the light and will turn from his horrible, lying, underhanded ways.

    Congrats PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!

    November 7, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  21. Vin

    We all know what works now and that is lying a whole bunch along with being divisive and obnoxious as possible. Reid or Obama never compromise that I could count. Obstructing like Reid is a winner deal so the house needs to duplicate.

    November 7, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Centrist Voter.

    Time to work together for the common good. Or is that too socialist?

    November 7, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  23. freedom

    @ Malory. No, not mad, just disgusted. Obama is still an empty suit / chair. Half the country just wasn't smart enough to see it. And, if you noticed, he had to have a group in stands behind him cheering him on while he gave his acceptance speech. Is he still campaigning? Can he not come out on a stage by himself, like a confident man with real ideas, and face the American people? The answer is – no.

    November 7, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. GD94134

    The Art of Compromise-well said Mr.President now that's an excellent way to move Forward!

    November 7, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. freedom

    @ Malory
    No, not mad – just disgusted. Obama is still an empty suit / chair. Half the country just wasn't smart enough to see it. And during his acceptance speech, he had to have people in stands behind him cheering. Is he still campaigning? Can't he come out on a stage alone like a man with confidence and real ideas and face the American people? The answer is – no.

    November 7, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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