Responding to the wave of euphoria surrounding President Barack Obama’s victory after a tough election campaign, House Republican leaders launched a rapid offensive in using the buzz word “fiscal cliff” to detail the economic woes of the country. Placing the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of Obama, Speaker of the House Jim Boehner made no secret of the GOP’s intention to make the imbalance of the economy the fault of the current administration. On Friday afternoon, President Obama appeared at the White House to address the nation’s fiscal health, promising a willingness to work with opposing voices but reiterated his call for balance and moderation.
Detailing what will be a part of his second-term agenda, President Obama appeared to still be in campaign mode after delivering a speech that nearly mirrored his stump talks on the trail. More importantly, Obama made sure to remind House Republicans that the American people elected both him and his policies on Tuesday.
As I said on Tuesday night, the American people voted for action not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in that spirit I’ve invited leaders of both parties to the White House next week so we can start to build consensus around the challenges that we can only solve together.
And I also intend to bring in business and labor and civic leaders from all across the country here to Washington to get their ideas and input, as well. You know, at a time when our economy’s still recovering from the great recession, our top priority has to be jobs and growth. That’s the focus of the plan that I talked about during the campaign.
Obama was careful to mention job creation in both the private and public sectors and his willingness to work with small business and manufacturing companies in creating new employment opportunities.
There was also a heavy emphasis on infrastructure building, construction, and other moves that serve to have an impact on the sagging economy and low job numbers. Boehner was addressed by name in Obama’s speech, with the President mentioning that the pair will meet and discuss the agreed upon “tax revenue” conversation next week at the White House.
In summary, Obama put Congress on notice, saying it would be “bad for the economy” and struggling families if divided lawmakers could not agree to a sensible overall deficit-reduction package.