Update 11/16/2012, 5:03 p.m. EST:
The meeting between President Barack Obama and Republican leaders, among others, was a positive one, with both sides of the aisle seeming to find common ground in order to move this nation forward economically, according to the Associated Press.
Appearing jovial and at ease, Speaker of the House John Boehner said he was open to increasing revenue “as long as it is accompanied by spending cuts,” a key provision in the Republican base.
On the other side of the aisle, Minority Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi didn’t reject the GOP-cutting provision, saying, “I feel confident that a solution may be in sight.”
In the President’s second meeting with civic leaders, the Rev. Al Sharpton (pictured above) released a statement that maintained that the energy in the room was “productive.” Sharpton made sure to drive home the plight of African Americans and Latinos, saying that cuts to unemployment, Social Security, and Medicaid, would be “devastating” to our communities.
The meeting was very candid and productive and we were able to share our concerns about the impact that the fiscal cliff negotiations could have on our constituents.
Importantly, we heard the direct response of the President and Vice President about their commitment towards doing what is right for the American people. I expressed that position that National Action Network and I feel that African-Americans and Latinos will face disproportionate negative impacts if there is any change in spending when it relates to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and across-the-board program cuts.
Since we are also disproportionately the longest-term uninsured in this country, the cancellation of unemployment insurance would be devastating in our community. The need to maintain tax cuts for the middle-class and working poor while making the wealthy pay their fair share is as appropriate as it is prudent.
While there are major decisions to be made between now and the New Year, this initial meeting is a good start. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney added after the vital meeting, “Both sides agreed that while there may be differences in our preferred approaches, we will continue a constructive process to find a solution and come to a conclusion as soon as possible.”
Time will tell if the Republicans decide to keep things civil — and bipartisan — in the months to come.
On Friday, President Barack Obama will meet with Congress and civic leaders, such as Majority Leader Harry Reid, Rev. Al Sharpton, Speaker of the House John Boehner, NAACP President Ben Jealous, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in two separate meetings to find a balanced solution to the deficit, while strengthening the economy.