By Justin Sink
President Obama will travel to Detroit on Monday to deliver an economic address as he looks to intensify public pressure on congressional Republicans amid "fiscal cliff" negotiations.
According to the White House, the president will discuss the economy and how the failure to strike a deal to avert January's tax rate rises and automatic spending cuts could affect middle-class families. Further details, including the location and time of the address, have not yet been released.
“In Washington, nothing’s easy, so there is going to be some prolonged negotiations and all of us are going to have to get out of our comfort zones to make that happen,” he said. “I’m willing to do that. I’m hopeful that enough members of Congress in both parties are willing to do that as well.”
The president has been active in recent days looking to rally supporters as negotiations continue. On Monday, he conducted a Twitter town hall on the social media network, and on Wednesday he met with top business executives.
Obama and Republicans are at odds over tax rates. Both parties agree on extending the expiring Bush-era rates for middle-class families, but the president wants the wealthy to pay more. Republicans say they will only vote to extend the rates across the board, arguing that any rate hike would weaken job growth.
GOP leaders said Wednesday they hoped the president would lay out a counteroffer to their $2.2 trillion proposal, which calls for $800 billion in new revenues without raising tax rates. Administration spokesmen spent much of Wednesday dismissing that plan, arguing that the GOP proposal could not work without dramatically affecting charities and nonprofit institutions.
“If the president doesn’t like our offer, he has a responsibility to put forward a plan that can pass both chambers of Congress,” Speaker John Boehner said. “We’re ready to talk with the president immediately about a plan that can pass this chamber. We’re ready any time he is.”
The visit will be Obama's first to Detroit since April, when he attended two campaign fundraisers in the city.