Obama to address 'fiscal cliff,' setting tone for negotiations w - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Obama to address 'fiscal cliff,' setting tone for negotiations with Republicans

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WASHINGTON -

Newly re-elected President Barack Obama will use a White House appearance to set the tone for upcoming talks with congressional Republicans on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.

Republicans continue to draw a line in the sand against higher tax rates for upper-income earners as they seek to topple the conventional wisdom that Obama has the upper hand in upcoming negotiations on averting the potentially economy-crippling set of tax increases and automatic spending cuts due to hit in January. 

Obama faces a tough, core decision: Does he pick a fight and risk a prolonged impasse with Republicans or does he rush to compromise and risk alienating Democrats still celebrating his victory?

Many of his Democratic allies hope Obama will take a hard line when he addresses the matter Friday. Republicans warn that a fight could poison efforts for a rapprochement in a bitterly divided Capitol and threaten his second-term agenda.

Obama has been silent since his victory speech early Wednesday morning, but Capitol Hill Republicans have filled the vacuum with vows to stand resolutely against any effort by the president to fulfill a campaign promise to raise the top two income tax rates to Clinton-era levels.

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