U.S. President Barack Obama is making a campaign-style trip Friday aimed
at winning public support for his plan to avert a potential fiscal
Obama's visit to a toy factory in Pennsylvania is part of a series of
public events to sell the nation on his strategy to avoid the $600
billion in spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect January 1.
Congressional Republicans say there is little progress in resolving the
partisan stalemate over how to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff."
House Speaker John Boehner said he was "disappointed" after speaking
with the president late Wednesday and meeting with Treasury Secretary
Timothy Geithner on Thursday.
"No substantive progress has been made in the talks between the White
House and the House over the last two weeks," he said.
Boehner, the leader of the Republican-controlled House of
Representatives, criticized the president for staging gatherings of
taxpayers this week who support his call for eliminating tax cuts for
the wealthiest Americans.
"Listen, this is not a game. Jobs are on the line, the American economy
is on the line, and this is a moment for adult leadership," said
Boehner. " Campaign-style rallies with one-sided leaks to the press is
not the way to get things done here in Washington."
The forced spending cuts would affect important defense and domestic
programs, while the question on the tax cuts is whether they should be
extended beyond their scheduled December 31 expiration.
"We are still waiting for a serious offer from Republicans," said the
Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid.
a Democrat who is newly re-elected, is seeking to end the tax break for
the wealthiest Americans. But his Republican opponents say ending that
tax cut would curtail creation of more jobs.
Wednesday, Obama urged the Republican-controlled House to quickly
approve a Senate-passed measure that would extend the tax cut for those
making less than $250,000 annually. He said the White House and
lawmakers could then deal with other aspects of the dispute over
government spending and taxation.
"And since we all theoretically agree on that, we should go ahead and
get that done," he said. "If we get that done, a lot of the other stuff
is going to be a lot easier."