I just had a good and constructive discussion here at the White House with Senate and House leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class. And I’m optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that could pass both houses (of Congress) on time; Senators Reid and Connell are working on such an agreement as we speak. But if an agreement isn’t reached in time between Senator Reid and Senator McConnell, then I will urge Senator Reid to bring, to the floor, a basic package for an up-or-down vote — one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike; extends the vital lifeline of unemployment insurance to two million Americans looking for a job; and lays the groundwork for future cooperation on more economic growth and deficit reduction.PRESIDENT OBAMA, updating the nation on the fiscal cliff talks. (via inothernews)
We just have to do the right thing. So call me a hopeless optimist, but I actually still think we can get this done.President Obama • Discussing the current state of the fiscal cliff negotiations ahead of the Christmas holiday. Obama is headed to Hawaii for Christmas, and members of Congress are headed home. ”I met them halfway on taxes and I met them more than have way on spending. In terms of actual dollar amounts, we’re not that far apart,” the president said regarding the deal. House Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” tax plan fell on deaf ears earlier this week, adding to the uncertainty of whether or not there will be a deal. If the two sides can’t come up with a deal by the end of the year, a set of automatic spending cuts commonly referred to as the “fiscal cliff” will take effect.
swagandpassion asks: I'm glad Obama is person of the year, but what clout does TIME have? Is this the social/political version of the most beautiful person in the world? Or can Obama say being chosen is a referendum of himself and his overall administration?
» SFB says: Well, Hitler once won the award, so I wouldn’t necessarily call it an award for the “most beautiful” — probably more of the “most important,” good or bad. Obama won a second term, so it was probably a referendum on his work. — Ernie @ SFB
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As a country, we have been through this too many times…we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.President Obama, in a statement on the Sandy Hook shooting. While we don’t mean to be crass at a moment like this, the phrasing of this could suggest an increased focus on gun control within the administration, which would be a major development.
We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news I react not as a president but as anybody else would—as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do…This evening, Michelle and I will do what every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter, and we’ll tell them that we love them, and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight, and they need all of us right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans, and I will do everything in my power as President to help.President Obama, in a statement on the shooting at Sandy Creek Elementary School (thanks Matt Keys for grabbing the audio).