WASHINGTON (AP) - President Obama says raising taxes on wealthiest Americans must be part of deficit reduction plan but says he is "open to compromise" and "new ideas."
The president says he will refuse to accept any approach that "isn't balanced."
In his first public comments since the election, Obama said that Congress should pass a bill that would prevent Bush-era tax cuts from expiring for all but the wealthiest Americans. He said lawmakers from both parties need to work together to tackle the nation's fiscal problems.
The president said he is inviting congressional leaders of both parties and business and labor leaders to the White House next week for talks on how to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff." Lawmakers face a Jan. 2 deadline to reach an agreement.
Meantime, House Speaker John Boehner says any deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff should include lower tax rates, eliminating special interest loopholes and revising the tax code.
Speaking to reporters Friday, the Ohio Republican insisted that changing the tax code and making it more efficient would lead to greater revenue for the government.
Boehner said he had a brief conversation with the president earlier this week as the chief executive and congressional leaders negotiate a way to avoid a fiscal cliff that economists say would plunge the nation into another recession.
Boehner also indicated that raising the debt limit that the government will reach sometime in the spring should be part of any negotiations.
The Associated Press and News10/KXTV