Obama: 'I Still Think We Can Get It Done'

He calls for smaller deal on fiscal cliff before year's end

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 21, 2012 5:04 PM CST

(Newser) – Today's fiscal cliff developments have a familiar ring: More talk, no solutions. But while no miracles emerged from Capitol Hill, President Obama took to his podium to declare, "I still think we can get it done." He wants lawmakers to come back after the holiday to pass a scaled-down deal before year's end that protects most Americans from a tax increase and lays the groundwork for more comprehensive legislation, reports AP. Earlier, John Boehner said he would continue working toward a deal in the wake of his own "Plan B" meltdown, but added, "How we get there, God only knows," reports the Hill.

Obama made the case that because Democrats and Republicans alike agree that the vast majority of Americans should be saved from a tax hike, "there is absolutely no reason, none," not to make it happen before the deadline 10 days from now. "Call me a hopeless optimist," he said, adding that he spoke with both Boehner and Harry Reid today. One plan in the works among Democrats is a proposal to extend tax cuts for those making below $250,000, extend unemployment benefits, and temporarily suspend automatic spending cuts, reports the New York Times.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks to reporters Friday. Asked what happens next on the fiscal cliff, he responded, God only knows.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks to reporters Friday. Asked what happens next on the fiscal cliff, he responded, "God only knows."   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
President Obama speaks to reporters about the fiscal cliff at the White House Friday.
President Obama speaks to reporters about the fiscal cliff at the White House Friday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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