House GOP to speak to governors, business owners on deficit talks

House Republicans will meet with governors and small business owners this week to discuss the potential impact of the looming “fiscal cliff.”

With little more than 29 days until a bevy of tax hikes and spending cuts are set to go into place, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) intends to shine a light what will happen if GOP and Democratic negotiators fail to reach an alternative deficit-reduction plan to avoid the fiscal doomsday scenario. 

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According to Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith, the GOP conference will meet with a bipartisan group of governors, and separately with small business owners. 

"This week, House Republicans will meet with small businesses and governors from around the country to discuss the danger the 'fiscal cliff' poses to our economy - and how the massive tax rate increases that the President is demanding instead of cutting spending will hurt small business and cost jobs," Smith said in a statement to The Hill. 

On Tuesday, Republicans will meet with the governors, followed by a meeting with small business owners on Wednesday. 

According to a leadership source, the Wednesday meeting will discuss the negative ramifications allowing the top-earners’ tax rate to expire would have on small businesses -- many of whom file as individuals. 

The small business owners set to meet with GOP lawmakers would have their taxes raised if Congress fails to act before January 1st. Republicans hope to contrast their meeting with small business owners to Obama’s recent talks with CEO’s from large corporations. 

The House GOP move is the latest as both sides in the deficit debate look to rally public opinion amid negotiations.

Last week, President Obama returned to the trail to pressure GOP lawmakers to back his call for allowing the current Bush-era tax rates to expire for individuals who make more than $250,000 per year, while extending the lower rates for middle-class families. 

Obama has said he will not accept any deficit deal that fails to raise rates on the wealthy. Republicans, though, want to raise rates across-the-board and are refusing to pass an extension only for middle-class tax cuts, in hopes of retaining leverage. The GOP hopes to force concessions including sharper spending cuts and entitlement reform. 

At an event at a Pennsylvania toy factory on Friday, Obama said the GOP was giving families a “lump of coal” for the holiday season, by failing to quickly extend the middle-class Bush-era tax rates.

Earlier in the week, Obama also met with middle-class American families at an event at White House and held a separate meeting with top business leaders to discuss the deficit negotiations.

The president is also slated to meet with seven governors this week, including GOP Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.).

Both Republicans and Democrats appear to be at an impasse, with Boehner dismissing the initial deficit offer from the White House as a “non-starter.”

The White House proposal would increase revenue by $1.6 trillion, add economic stimulus spending, paired with $400 billion in unspecified cuts that would take place over a period of 10 years. 

On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner defended the administration's initial offer, saying that House Republicans would need to present a counter proposal to follow-up the negotiations.

This story was updated at 4:04 p.m.