Nov. 25 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said next week’s White House meeting with congressional leaders may provide an opening for Democrats and Republicans to find a common approach to boosting the economy.
“In the coming weeks and months, I hope that we can work together,” Obama said in a Thanksgiving holiday address on the radio and Internet.
Obama has invited Senate and House leaders from both parties to the White House Nov. 30 for what he said should be a “real and honest” discussion about the legislative agenda.
“We’ve got to do everything we can to accelerate this recovery and keep our economy moving forward,” Obama said in his address. “I believe that if we stop talking at one another, and start talking with one another, we can get a lot done.”
The president is pressing lawmakers to act before the end of the year on extending income tax cuts for all but the wealthiest taxpayers. The tax cuts were enacted in 2001 and 2003 and expire at the end of this year. Obama wants to let the tax rates rise for incomes above $200,000 a year for individuals and $250,000 for married couples. Republicans want to extend the rates for all income levels.
Obama also wants the Senate to ratify a nuclear arms treaty with Russia before year’s end, a timetable that has encountered resistance from some Republicans.
Congress returns from its Thanksgiving break next week.
The Nov. 2 election results have put Republicans in control of the House of Representatives in the next Congress, starting in January. Democrats will still hold the majority in the Senate, but by a narrower margin.
Obama said there is more work to be done to speed economic growth and help unemployed Americans find work.
“But we won’t do it as any one political party,” he said. “We’ve got to do it as one people.”
In the Republican address, Representative-elect Austin Scott of Georgia said Americans voted in the midterm elections for lawmakers who will help get the economy growing again.
“The American people have sent 85 new Republicans to Washington with a clear message: Listen up, stop the job-killing policies, stop the runaway spending, and focus on getting our country back on track,” he said.
The newest House Republicans include 33 owners of small businesses, “folks who understand what it’s like to sign the front of a paycheck and not just the back of one,” Scott said. “It’s a new breed of leaders for a new majority and a new Congress.”
--Editors: Joe Sobczyk, Leslie Hoffecker.
To contact the reporters on this story: Nicholas Johnston in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org; Roger Runningen in Washington at email@example.com
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