Obama to leave Hawaii for DC on Wednesday

President Obama is cutting his vacation short, leaving Hawaii on Wednesday night to return to Washington and address the looming “fiscal cliff,” the White House announced. 

The president has been vacationing in Hawaii with his family since Saturday. The first lady and their daughters will remain in the state. 

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Obama and lawmakers are under pressure to craft a deficit-reduction package to avoid a set of tax hikes and automatic spending cuts taking effect in 2013. But negotiations are at an impasse with little time until the year-end deadline. The Senate is also slated to return to work in Washington on Thursday.

Last week, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was forced to withdraw his “Plan B” backup tax proposal after House GOP leaders were unable to find enough support in their caucus to pass the measure.

Before leaving for Ohio for the Christmas holidays, Boehner said that Republicans had put their best offer on the table. He added that while he was not abandoning negotiations, the onus for a deal now rested with the president and the Senate.

Obama on Friday urged GOP lawmakers to return to the table and consider a smaller package focused on extending middle-class tax rates, extending unemployment insurance and laying a framework for future deficit reduction.

"That's an achievable goal that can get done in 10 days," he told reporters.

The president expressed hope that the holidays would help both sides “cool off” and resume talks.

"As we leave town for a few days to be with our families, it will give us some perspective," Obama said.

The president has enjoyed a quiet stay in Hawaii, with no public events other than a memorial service he attended for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) on Sunday.


This story was first published at 8:08 p.m. and has been updated.

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