The AP: “President Barack Obama plans to make a public case this week for his strategy for dealing with the looming fiscal cliff, traveling to the Philadelphia suburbs Friday as he pressures Republicans to allow tax increases on the wealthy while extending tax cuts for families earning $250,000 or less. The White House said Tuesday that the president intends to hold a series of events to build support for his approach to avoid across-the-board tax increases and steep spending cuts in defense and domestic programs. Obama will meet with small business owners at the White House on Tuesday and with middle-class families on Wednesday.”
USA Today: “Obama hits 'fiscal cliff' campaign trail.” Today, he meets with small business owners at the White House; on Wednesday, he holds an event at the White House with “middle-class Americans” who could be affected by higher taxes and hosts another “meeting with business leaders” at the White House; on Friday, he stops at a toy manufacturer in Hatfield, PA.
“The president's top economic adviser on Monday said Obama still believes the expiring payroll tax cut should be a part of broader fiscal talks, suggesting that an issue that some believed was settled months ago could see new life,” National Journal reports.
Hands off my Medicare (and Medicaid and Social Security)… The New York Times: “President Obama’s re-election and Democratic gains in Congress were supposed to make it easier for the party to strike a deal with Republicans to resolve the year-end fiscal crisis by providing new leverage. But they could also make it harder as empowered Democrats, including some elected on liberal platforms, resist significant changes in entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.”
“President Obama practices some hemispheric diplomacy Tuesday, meeting with the incoming president of Mexico and taking about a major U.S. domestic issue: Immigration,” USA Today writes. “President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto stops by the White House late this afternoon.”
“With congressional opposition softening, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice could find her name in contention as early as this week to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state,” AP writes. “It’s a step that may signal greater U.S. willingness to intervene in world crises during President Barack Obama’s second term. As Obama nears a decision on who should be the country’s next top diplomat, Rice has emerged as the clear front-runner on a short list of candidates.”
“Americans are giving the White House low marks for how it's handled the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus, according to a new national survey. But according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday, a majority of the public doesn't believe the Obama administration intentionally tried to mislead Americans on the September attack that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead. And the survey also indicates a plurality have a positive opinion of Petraeus and are divided on whether the former top U.S. should have resigned as CIA director after acknowledging an extra-marital affair.”