Obama phones congressional leaders

President Obama called all four congressional leaders late Wednesday for an update on "fiscal cliff" negotiations, according to the White House. 

Obama phoned House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) just before his flight from Hawaii back to Washington, D.C.

According to the White House, the separate calls to each respective leader were for "an update on the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations."

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer tweeted the news.

An aide to Boehner said the Speaker reiterated to Obama that the Senate needs to move on legislation to prevent the tax rate increases and spending cuts that take effect in January. 

"The Speaker told the president that the Senate must now act, which is what he also told him in their Friday phone call," the Boehner aide said. "He also reaffirmed to the president that the House has already acted to avert the entire fiscal cliff."

On Wednesday, House Republican leaders held a conference call on the fiscal cliff negotiations that a spokesman described as "routine." They have yet to announce any plans to call their members back to Washington, and had promised to give them 48 hours notice last week. 

Republicans have tried to shift the spotlight to Senate Democrats after Boehner last week abandoned an effort to pass his "Plan B" to prevent the spending cuts and tax rate increases. 

Boehner's legislation would have extended the Bush-era tax rates for income up to $1 million while letting the rates for above $1 million expire. The speaker gave up on the legislation in response to opposition by a number of House Republicans.