President Obama said in his weekly address Saturday that his reelection shows Americans want Congress to pass a tax cut for the middle class.
Obama said he would work with Democrats and Republicans, along with industry, labor and civic groups, to find a solution for cutting the deficit. But he said the plan he outlined on the campaign trail is the one the nation chose.
The first step should be extending middle-class tax cuts, Obama said. He said Congress should move on that even while negotiating a broader, long-term deficit-reduction package.
“It’s a step that would give millions of families and 97 percent of small businesses the peace of mind that will lead to new jobs and faster growth. There’s no reason to wait,” he said.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday that Republicans would accept a deal that increases tax revenues to the Treasury, but not one that raises “tax rates.” He also asked Democrats for a “down payment” on a deficit-reduction pact, but did not elaborate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he wants to avoid a short-term patch to the deficit issue.
Obama said he understood the process would be an arduous one, again invoking his victory as a sign from Americans on the path Congress should take.
“We know there will be differences and disagreements in the months to come. That’s part of what makes our political system work. But on Tuesday, you said loud and clear that you won’t tolerate dysfunction, or politicians who see compromise as a dirty word. Not when so many of your families are still struggling,” he said.