Added Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.): “Of course” an agreement is possible.
While all three men spoke in general terms, Boehner stressed that Republicans would be willing to accept higher tax revenue under the right conditions as part of a more sweeping attempt to reduce deficits and restore the economy to full health.
While the impending “fiscal cliff” dominates the postelection agenda, the president and Republicans have other concerns, too.
Obama is looking ahead to top-level personnel changes in a second term, involving three powerful Cabinet portfolios at a minimum.
And Republicans are heading into a season of potentially painful reflection after losing the presidency in an economy that might have proved Obama’s political undoing. They also have fallen deeper into the Senate minority after the second election in a row in which they lost potentially winnable races by fielding candidates with views that voters evidently judged too extreme.
One major topic for GOP discussion: the changing face of America.
“We’ve got to deal with the issue of immigration through good policy. What is the right policy if we want economic growth in America as it relates to immigration?” said former Republican Party Chairman Haley Barbour. Obama drew support from about 70 percent of all Hispanics. That far outpaced Romney, who said during the Republican primaries that illegal immigrants should self-deport, then spent the general election campaign trying to move toward the political middle on the issue.
The maneuvering on the economy — the dominant issue by far in the campaign — began even before Obama returned to the White House from his home town of Chicago.
After securing a second term, the president is committed to bipartisan solutions “to reduce our deficit in a balanced way, cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses and create jobs,” and he told congressional leaders as much in phone calls, the White House said.
Boehner, whose anti-tax Republicans renewed their House majority on Tuesday, said GOP legislators were “willing to accept new revenue under the right conditions.”