WASHINGTON, (UPI) — House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called for the president and Congress to focus on common ground to try to avoid the looming economic fiscal cliff.
Boehner’s office said the speaker Wednesday would call on members of both political parties to work together to help turn the economy around and create jobs, leading to a reduction in the national debt, The Hill reported.
Boehner’s comments come hours after Election Day results showed the GOP will maintain control of the House.
Shortly after President Obama won his re-election bid and the Republican control of the House was assured, Boehner said, “If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs.”
Leaders from both parties had expressed optimism that finding cooperation on the fiscal cliff — the confluence of draconian, across-the-board reductions and an expiration of the lower tax rates passed during George W. Bush’s presidency — would be somewhat easier post-election. However, Tuesday’s election generally kept the status quo that saw two years of partisan bickering and a failure to reach common ground on how to shrink the deficit and grow the economy.
During his victory speech, Obama said he looked forward to working with congressional leaders of both parties to solve the issues facing the nation.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, too, said he will “reach out to my Republican colleagues in the Senate and the House. Let’s come together. We know what the issues are, let’s solve them.”
Boehner also suggested in recent days that a “grand bargain” to avert the fiscal cliff wasn’t likely during the lame-duck session and something less to buy time for negotiations was more realistic, The Hill said.