By The Associated Press - Friday, November 9, 2012 - 0 Comments
WASHINGTON – The White House is making America’s high-stakes fiscal crisis its top priority…
WASHINGTON – The White House is making America’s high-stakes fiscal crisis its top priority after President Barack Obama’s re-election, underscoring the vital importance of averting severe year-end tax increases and spending cuts as Obama heads toward a second term.
The newly re-elected Obama is also weighing replacements for high-profile officials expected to leave his Cabinet and the White House soon. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton both want to step down but have indicated a willingness to push their departures into next year, or at least until successors are confirmed. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta also wants to retire next year.
The president privately delved into both issues Thursday, his first full day back in Washington following his re-election on Tuesday. The president and his team were also assessing how congressional Republicans were positioning themselves following the election before saying much publicly about his second term.
The president will make his first comments on the economy and the fiscal crisis Friday at the White House.
In his victory speech Tuesday night, Obama offered a call for reconciliation after a divisive campaign. But he made clear he had an agenda in mind, citing a need for changes in the tax code, as well as immigration reform and climate change.
Obama aides want to avoid what they believe was an overreach by President George W. Bush, who declared after narrowly winning re-election that he had “political capital” and intended to spend it. One of Bush’s first moves was to push to privatize federal Social Security pensions, a plan that was roundly rejected by Congress and the public. Continue…