Obama Kicks Off Fiscal Cliff Talks
Boehner, Obama to be main movers and shakers in negotiation
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Nov 16, 2012 11:58 AM CST
Barack Obama, John Boehner, and Harry Reid meet in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 16, 2012, for a bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress to discuss the deficit and economy.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – Barack Obama officially kicked off fiscal cliff talks today, hosting a meeting with John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Mitch McConnell at the White House, the Washington Post reports. Americans "want to see that we are focused on them, not on our politics here in Washington," the president said. On a more playful note, he added that tomorrow is Boehner's birthday, and that they'd only foregone a cake "because we didn't know how many candles were needed." The speaker poked him in the arm and replied, "Yeah, right."

The meeting was mostly just a photo-op, sources tell the Hill. The real work has already informally begun behind the scenes between White House officials and congressional staffers. Obama and Boehner will be the main negotiators, and aides say they're likely to use as a starting point the "grand bargain" they almost struck in 2011, which would have cut billions from Medicare and Medicaid in exchange for $800 billion in new tax revenue. But many other lawmakers, particularly House and Senate Democrats, want seats at the table.

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Nov 17, 2012 2:47 PM CST
It would be far better to have term limits to all elected positions, that way those who are elected would be intent on making names for themselves & hopefully righting the wrongs in America, (not least of which is the rapidly eroding allowance of Free Speech.) as opposed to enriching themselves & their families by setting up 'Dynasties' , at the same time it would be best to cease the enrichment of these folk long after they have been ejected from their positions.
Nov 16, 2012 9:51 PM CST
BRING IT ON --- Obama always said in his speeches how strong and resilient Americans are, lets see if they are strong and resilient enough to take a fall? --- The Obama people have nothing to fear, they'll have his "gifts" for being the LAZY ass welfare for life people, who voted for him. ------- REALLY
Nov 16, 2012 4:17 PM CST
I predict the dems will make their offer, the repubs will make their offer. The two offers will be diametrically opposed. Neither side will give in. Both sides will blame the other. We all lose