Quickly pivoting the political conversation from President Obama’s reelection to Washington’s looming budget battles, House Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday offered a potential path to compromise, saying Republicans are “willing to accept new revenue” to tame the soaring national debt and avert an ugly battle over the approaching “fiscal cliff.”
With Obama’s decisive electoral victory and Republicans’ hold on the House, with a slightly smaller majority, Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday’s election amounted to a plea from voters for the parties to lay down their weapons of the past two years and “do what’s best for our country.”
“That is the will of the people. And we answer to them,” Boehner said at an afternoon news conference at the Capitol. “For purposes of forging a bipartisan agreement that begins to solve the problem, we’re willing to accept new revenue, under the right conditions.”
In phone calls made overnight and this morning from Chicago, Obama said much the same thing to Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). He said he believed that the American people sent a message that leaders in both parties need to put aside their partisan interests and work with common purpose to put the interests of the American people and the American economy first.