President Obama begins his campaign today to push Congress to accept a "balanced" plan to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff" by sitting down with members of his political base.
Obama will meet at the White House today with labor leaders including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka; Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union; Lee Saunders of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association.
The heads of several progressive organizations - including leaders of the Center for American Progress, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and MoveOn.org - have also been invited to participate in today's meeting.
The groups he will meet today, all of which campaigned for his re-election, are expected to press the president to avoid deep cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security.
On Wednesday, Obama will turn his focus to the business community and has invited a dozen business leaders to the White House including Mark Bertolini, president, chairman and CEO of Aetna; Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO of Xerox; Kenneth Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express Co. and Mike Duke, president and CEO, Walmart
With his re-election victory last week, Obama made clear that he believes the majority of Americans believe that the best way to cut the deficit includes a mix of budgetary cuts and raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
So far, House Speaker John Boehner has said that he's only willing to raise revenue by closing tax loopholes, but he insists that GOP lawmakers are unwilling to raise taxes.
Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP's vice presidential nominee and House Budget chairman, backed up Boehner in his first public comments since he and Mitt Romney were defeated.
"Yes, you can increase revenues without having to raise tax rates," Ryan said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published Tuesday. "Our fear is that if you raise tax rates you hurt economic growth. You hurt small businesses. So through tax reform you can get higher revenues without damaging the economy."
Obama is scheduled to meet with both parties' congressional leadership on Friday before setting off for Asia. More than $600 billion in tax hikes and budgetary cuts are set to go into effect on Jan. 1 if the White House and lawmakers don't come to terms and strike a deal.