back, because there was other news from the white house today. The president issued a challenge to republicans to end the gridlock over the economy and saying, he thinks voters sent a message, lund... See More
back, because there was other news from the white house today. The president issued a challenge to republicans to end the gridlock over the economy and saying, he thinks voters sent a message, lund clear. Reporter: In his first official appearance since re-election, the president signaled to republicans that he is primed for battle. I refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. Reporter: Unless he and congress come to a deal, the fragile u.S. Economy is headed towards something called the FISCAL CLIFF, ON JANUARY 1st. 6 trillion in tax increases that will hit all working americans and $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, leading to what experts predict will be another recession. The biggest sticking point is whether the bush tax cuts for those who make more than should, it's a case he made over and over on the campaign trail. Tax cuts. Tax cuts. Try a tax cut. Reporter: But yesterday, republican house speaker john boehner told diane sawyer that was a nonstarter. Is it on the table to talk about? I made clear -- the wealthier americans pitch in. I made clear yesterday that raising tax rates is unacceptable. And frankly, it couldn't even pass the house. Reporter: Still, today, the president said the debate had been settled, with his victory tuesday night. This was a central question during the election. It was debated over and over again. And on tuesday night, we found out that the majority of americans agree with my approach. Reporter: And he threw down the gauntlet, saying everyone agrees on keeping the middle class tax cuts for those who make under $200,000 a year. So, he say, congress should act on that now. And I've got the pen ready to sign the bill right away. I'm ready to do it. I'm ready to do it. Reporter: And diane, president obama heads to asia next week. Before he leaves, he is calling for a meeting of the top house and senate democrat and republican leaders to at least begin to try to find a compromise if one is possible. Diane? But give us a reality check, jake. How quickly could this happen? Reporter: I don't think quickly at all. Congress tends to act not until the very last second. And if it stays true to its form, that's what will happen here, as well.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.