President Barack Obama and Ohio Republican both said Wednesday they believe a deal can be reached to avoid austerity measures.
President Barack Obama voiced optimism Wednesday that a deal to avoid year-end austerity measures can be reached with Republicans.
His sentiments were mirrored by House Speaker John Boehner who said Republicans were willing to put revenues on the table if Democrats agreed to spending cuts.
"I am optimistic that we can continue to work together to avert this crisis sooner rather than later," the Ohio Republican told reporters. "We (Republicans) put revenue on the table as long as it is accompanied by serious spending cuts to avert this crisis."
President Obama said that failure to avoid the looming "fiscal cliff" would reverberate beyond the U.S. borders.
"It would be bad for the economy, it would be bad for those families, in fact it would be bad for the world economy," Obama told reporters at the White House as he met with his cabinet.
The president has proposed maintaining existing tax rates for all but the top two income tax brackets, but congressional Republicans are opposed to any tax increases.
The $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts will start going into effect early next year if the Obama administration and lawmakers cannot agree on how to change the law. Top policymakers say these austerity measures could topple the U.S. economy back into a recession.
President Obama says he believes that members of both parties can reach a framework on a debt-cutting deal before Christmas.
Obama was joined by about a dozen middle-class Americans who have raised concerns about their taxes going up at the end of the year.
He says lawmakers face important deadlines in the coming weeks but the voices of the American people need to be a part of the debate.
Obama says we need to "approach this problem with the middle-class in mind."
The president is urging the public to pressure Congress through social media, pointing to (hastag)My2K on Twitter — a reference to the estimated $2,200 tax increase a typical middle-class family of four would see if the Bush tax cuts expire.