Obama, leaders to meet at White House Friday

President Obama will meet with Congressional leaders Friday afternoon at the White House just days before the so-called fiscal cliff deadline, when taxes are slated to increase.

Obama will host Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), according to a White House official.

ADVERTISEMENT
The meeting will be Obama's first meeting with the Congressional leaders since leaving Hawaii, where he spent the Christmas holiday with his family. The meeting will be part of a last ditch effort to prevent taxes from rising and spending from getting cut in 2013.

The sitdown at the White House also comes as GOP leaders announced on Thursday that the House will come back into session on Sunday, just hours before the deadline.

A spokesman for Boehner said the House Speaker will "continue to stress that the House has already passed legislation to avert the fiscal cliff and now the Senate must act."

A spokesman for McConnell said the senator is "eager to hear from the President."

On the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell said, "Hopefully there is still time for an agreement of some kind that saves the taxpayers from a wholly preventable economic crisis.”

Obama last week said he would reach for a smaller deal that would extend tax rates on annual incomes below $250,000 while allowing rates above that threshold to rise. Obama also said he would seek an extension of unemployment benefits, but would put off broader entitlement reforms until next year, as well as a hike to the debt ceiling.

It is unclear, however, whether Republicans would move legislation that only extends rates on annual incomes below $250,000.

Updated at 8 p.m.