Before President Obama's meeting with congressional leaders this morning, he laid out the challenges that need to be overcome in the next few weeks:
I think we're all aware that we have some urgent business to do. We've got to make sure that taxes don't go up on middle-class families, that our economy remains strong, that we're creating jobs. And that's an agenda that Democrats and Republicans and Independents, people all across the country, share.
So our challenge is to make sure that we are able to cooperate together, work together, find some common ground, make some tough compromises, build some consensus to do the people’s business. And what folks are looking for—and I think all of us agree on this—is action. They want to see that we are focused on them, not focused on our politics here in Washington.
So my hope is, ... that this is going to be the beginning of a fruitful process where we're able to come to an agreement that will reduce our deficit in a balanced way, that we will deal with some of these long-term impediments to growth, and we're also going to be focusing on making sure that middle-class families are able to get ahead.