An emboldened President Obama turned up the heat on House Republicans today by laying out a stark choice for the GOP. He made it clear that he is willing to compromise on the fiscal cliff, but any compromise will be on his terms.
Here is the video from NBC News:
Obama said, “I agree both parties can agree on a framework in the coming weeks. The president went on to turn up the heat on House Republicans by repeating that both sides already have an agreement on keeping the tax cuts for the 98%. The president said if Congress does nothing the typical middle class family will see their taxes go up by $2,200. He pointed out that businesses can’t afford it either, and congressional inaction could drag the entire economy down. Obama then pushed Congress to immediately extend the tax cut on the first $250,000 of income.
Obama said that by doing this, “Families and businesses could enjoy some peace of mind heading into Christmas.” The president used his reelection victory to tell Republicans that this shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody because this was a major issue during the campaign. He said he was glad to see more congressional Republicans starting to agree with him that we need a balanced approach. Obama revealed a bit of his strategy by saying, “If we can get a few House Republicans to agree, I’ll sign this bill right away.”
The president said, “When the American people speak loudly enough, low and behold, Congress listens…The lesson is when enough people get involved, we have a pretty good record of making Congress work.” Obama asked Congress to listen to the people, and the American people to make their voices heard by writing them, emailing them, calling them, posting it on their Facebook walls, and tweeting it at them.
Obama said he was ready, willing, able, and excited to get this issue resolved. He said since both sides agree on the middle class tax cut extension already, they should get this done. The president urged everyone to spread the word about this in order to put America on the right track to get this done.
The president is using the same tactics that he has used three times previously to get House Republicans to act. President Obama is becoming quite adept at using his bully pulpit to mobilize the American people towards his point of view. Beyond giving him a second term, the results of this election validated Obama’s approach to deficit reduction. The vast majority of Americans, 60% in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, agree with him.
The president was correct. Over the past year when the American people have gotten involved, House Republicans caved. This event today was the first step in the White House’s plan to turn up the heat on a few dozen vulnerable House Republicans.
Much like the way he won reelection, I get the sense that this president is micro targeting his public opinion pressure campaign. His first target will be House Republicans in the Philadelphia area. I suspect his travel schedule will take him to the backyards of several House Republicans before this issue is settled.
Obama has taken Social Security off the table, and vowed not to sign any bill that doesn’t raise taxes on the wealthy. He has become an unfettered and emboldened president who is pressing hard for his agenda. He isn’t playing politics anymore with House Republicans.
Obama is here to do exactly what the American people told him to do.
This president appears determined to make the rich pay their fair share.