The next round of meetings to work toward a bipartisan deal to avoid the fiscal cliff will occur Thursday on Capitol Hill, an official confirms for ABC News.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, tapped by President Obama to have a lead role in the negotiations, and White House legislative chief Rob Nabors will meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH., and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA.
President Obama will not be in the meeting tomorrow. He has been meeting with middle class Americans who say they’ll be hurt by the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts. He’ll travel on Friday to a Pennsylvania toy factory to pressure Republicans to extend Bush-era tax cuts for all but the top two percent of American wage earners. Republicans want to extend the cuts for all Americans.
The president last met with congressional leaders twelve days ago on November 16th and last spoke with the Speaker of the House as well as the Senate Majority Leader this past weekend.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has argued that the trips and the public pressure on Republicans are separate from the private meetings.
“Only inside the Beltway do people think that sitting in a room for a photo spray will solve, necessarily, problems. The work has to be done, and that work is being done, and everybody needs to, as the president said, agree to the principle that compromise will require tough choices by every — each side. And the president is willing to do that and has demonstrated his willingness to do that,” Carney said at the White House on Tuesday.
Unless the White House and Congress come to a deal, the fragile US economy is heading towards so-called Fiscal Cliff on January 1–$6 trillion in tax increases that will hit all working Americans and $1.2 trillion in deep spending cuts leading to what experts predict could be another recession.