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Dec 5, 2012

Obama warns will not ‘play’ games over debt ceiling

WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama bluntly
warned Republican lawmakers on Wednesday that he would not
engage in another debt ceiling standoff and predicted a “fiscal
cliff” deal could be reached in a week if his opponents would
compromise on taxes.

Obama, speaking to the Business Roundtable group of chief
executives, said any suggestion that Republicans would have more
leverage next year to extract concessions from the White House
by threatening to let the United States default was a “bad
strategy” for them and for the country.

Dec 5, 2012

Both sides dig in on “fiscal cliff,” “nothing going on”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans and Democrats dug in on “fiscal cliff” talks on Wednesday, with both sides urging quick action but offering no compromises in a political stare-down that shows no signs of breaking.

Less than a month from the onset of spending cuts and tax increases that start to take effect in January unless Congress acts, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives called on President Barack Obama to initiate face-to-face talks and blamed him for a lack of action.

Dec 5, 2012

Obama to stress need to raise debt limit ‘without drama’

WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will
renew his case for tax hikes on wealthy Americans to avert a
year-end fiscal crunch and call for a smooth increase in the
nation’s borrowing limit in a speech to a business group on
Wednesday, a White House official said.

The president is embarked on an aggressive campaign to
pressure congressional Republicans to compromise on steps to
avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. He will argue to corporate
executives that it would hurt the nation’s economy to have
another protracted political fight over raising the debt limit,
the official said.

Dec 5, 2012

Obama says Republican proposals would put nonprofits at risk

WASHINGTON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama warned
on Tuesday that Republican tax proposals could threaten the
collapse of hospitals and universities benefiting from
charitable deductions.

“There’s been a lot of talk that somehow we can raise $800
billion or $1 trillion worth of revenue just by closing
loopholes and deductions,” Obama said in a Bloomberg TV
interview. “The only way to do that would be if you completely
eliminated, for example, charitable deductions.”

Dec 4, 2012

After meeting Obama, governors urge resolution of fiscal impasse

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic and Republican governors urged the White House and Congress on Tuesday to reach a deal to avoid year-end tax hikes and spending cuts, but they did not publicly recommend how the sides should bridge differences.

“We’re not saying it should be this plan or that plan, I think what we all agree on is something’s got to get done,” Delaware Governor Jack Markell told reporters after meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House.

Dec 3, 2012

On Twitter, Obama puts question mark over mortgage deduction

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Taking to Twitter to press his case in “fiscal cliff” talks with Congress, President Barack Obama said on Monday that tax breaks benefiting middle class families such as the mortgage interest deduction could be at risk if rates for top earners do not rise.

Obama is locked in negotiations with Congress to prevent a year-end fiscal crunch. If the administration and lawmakers fail to agree, across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts would go into effect that analysts say would tip the economy back into recession.

Dec 3, 2012

Obama salutes entertainers taking a Washington bow

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Music legend Led Zeppelin was recognized on Sunday alongside entertainers from stage and screen for their contributions to the arts and American culture at the Kennedy Center Honors, lifetime achievement awards for performing artists.

The eclectic tribute in Washington, alternated between solemn veneration and lighthearted roasting of honorees Academy Award-winning actor Dustin Hoffman, wisecracking late-night talk show host David Letterman, blues guitar icon Buddy Guy, ballerina Natalia Makarova and Led Zeppelin.

Dec 1, 2012

Little apparent progress in U.S. ‘fiscal cliff’ talks

, Nov 30 (Reuters) – With barely a month left
before the “fiscal cliff,” Republicans and Democrats remained
far apart on Friday in talks to avoid the across-the-board tax
hikes and spending cuts that threaten to throw the country back
into recession.

While President Barack Obama visited a Pennsylvania toy
factory to muster public support for tax hikes on the rich,
portraying Republicans as scrooges at Christmas time, his
primary adversary in negotiations, Republican House Speaker John
Boehner, continued to describe the situation as a stalemate.

Dec 1, 2012

Obama cranks up ‘fiscal cliff’ pressure

By Mark Felsenthal

HATFIELD, Penn. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama turned up the pressure in “fiscal cliff” talks on Friday, hitting the road to drum up support for his drive to raise taxes on the wealthy and warning Americans that Republicans were offering them “a lump of coal” for Christmas.

In a visit to a Pennsylvania toy factory, Obama portrayed congressional Republicans as Scrooges who risked sending the country over the fiscal cliff rather than strike a deal to avert the tax increases and spending cuts that begin in January unless Congress intervenes.

Dec 1, 2012

Obama cranks up “fiscal cliff” pressure, Boehner says talks stalemated

By Mark Felsenthal

HATFIELD, Penn. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama turned up the pressure in “fiscal cliff” talks on Friday, hitting the road to drum up support for his drive to raise taxes on the wealthy and warning Americans that Republicans were offering them “a lump of coal” for Christmas.

In a visit to a Pennsylvania toy factory, Obama portrayed congressional Republicans as Scrooges who risked sending the country over the fiscal cliff rather than strike a deal to avert the tax increases and spending cuts that begin in January unless Congress intervenes.

    • About Mark

      "Mark Felsenthal is a Reuters White House correspondent who covered Barack Obama's re-election in 2012 and the fiscal crisis that immediately followed. Since joining Reuters in 2001, he has written about monetary policy, currency wars, and the housing market meltdown."
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