President Barack Obama is cutting short his vacation to Hawaii to return to Washington. D.C. tonight, according to the White House press pool. The rest of the First Family will remain in Hawaii.
In addition to President Obama, Congress is also expected also return to Washington on Thursday. Last week, President Obama had rejected Speaker of the House John Boehner’s (R-OH) “Plan B,” which was designed to place pressure on Democrats for a better deal for Republicans and the influential Tea Party wing. “Plan B” was to raise taxes on those earning one million dollars per year and more. However, the administration opposed tax cuts for the remaining earning between $250,000 and $1,000,000 per year.
Last Thursday, “Plan B” failed and Speaker Boehner told a press conference that he did not have the votes. The failure of “Plan B” was a huge political embarrassment for Speaker Boehner and to a lesser extent, the Republican party.
Te confidence of the American people is dwindling that a deal can be worked out, however. A Gallup daily tracking poll indicates optimism is waning that President Barack Obama and congressional leaders will reach a budget agreement before Jan. 1. Fifty percent now believe this and 48 percent are doubtful, a change from the previous three weeks, when the solid majority of Americans were generally confident leaders would reach a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
The Gallup daily tracking poll also shows that a majority of Americans, 54%, now approve of Obama’s handling of the negotiations, up from 48% a week ago. This coincides with an increase in President Obama’a approval rating of 56%.
These polls place increasing pressures on the Republicans and its leadership to make a deal and make it quickly. The White House has not given any indication whether face-to-face meetings will be held between President Obama and Speaker Boehner on Thursday, although an announcement is expected from the White House shortly.
What is expected at the very least a short-term gap measure to avert the “fiscal cliff,” leaving a “bigger deal” to a later date.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books