President Barack Obama will meet small business owners and visit a toy factory in Pennsylvania this week to help build public support for an agreement to resolve a fiscal dilemma the U.S. faces by year’s end.
Obama will visit the Rodon Group manufacturing facility in Hatfield on Nov. 30, according to an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity. The company, which also produces plastic parts for the construction and pharmaceutical industries, is the only U.S. manufacturer of K’NEX Brands, which makes Tinkertoys, K’NEX Building Sets and Angry Birds Building Sets, the official said.
With the Christmas holiday approaching, the administration is mounting a campaign-style push for public support as the newly re-elected president faces off against congressional Republicans over proposals to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, a $607 billion combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January. Obama is arguing that, without a deal, consumer confidence may suffer, hurting holiday shopping and the economic recovery,
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Obama is urging Congress to act immediately on his plan to keep existing tax rates for middle-income Americans while letting those for the top earners rise, even as talks continue on spending cuts and changes to entitlement programs. Many Republicans now say they are willing to consider higher revenue as along as it’s accompanied by cuts in entitlement programs.
As part of the effort, the president plans to meet today with small-business owners at the White House, and tomorrow he is inviting middle-class Americans who would be affected by a failure to reach a deal on taxes before Jan. 1.
Before the Thanksgiving holiday, Obama held a news conference, met with chief executives from a dozen major U.S. companies -- including General Electric Co. (GE:US)’s Jeffrey Immelt, Ford Motor Co. (F:US)’s Alan Mulally and David Cote of Honeywell International Inc. (HON:US) -- and brought the top leaders of the Senate and House to the White House for an opening round of negotiations.
Yesterday, Thomas J. Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable President John Engler had separate meetings with top White House officials.
Obama will “continue to have outreach with, as he promised he would, with various stakeholders, business leaders and others this week, as well as conversations that are ongoing between his staff and folks on the Hill,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said yesterday.
Still, the talks on a deal to head off the automatic spending cuts and tax increases have made such little headway that Obama is delaying inviting leaders back to the White House this week as he had originally planned, according to a Democratic congressional aide.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) retreated following last week’s 3.6 percent rally, declining 0.2 percent to 1,406.29 yesterday, as the talks made little progress.
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