In his remarks following today’s summit with Democratic and Republican leadership, President Obama announced that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Budget Director Jack Lew will “work with representatives of both parties to break through this logjam” on tax cuts. “I’ve asked the leaders to appoint members to help in this negotiation process. They agreed to do that. That process is beginning right away,” he said.
Obama called the meeting “productive,” and though he acknowledged the two parties did not agree on the tax cuts issue, “there was broad agreement that we need to work to get that resolved before the end of the year.”Obama said he also emphasized “the importance of ratifying the new START treaty,” and “reminded the room that this treaty’s been vetted for seven months now. It’s gone through 18 hearings. It has support from senators from both parties.”
“It’s absolutely essential to our national security,” Obama said. “We need to get it done.”
The President concluded that though the “atmosphere was extremely civil” in the meeting, “there’s not doubt that those differences are going to remain no matter how many meetings we have. And the truth is, there’s always going to be a political incentive against working together.”
But, he said, “these aren’t times for us to be playing games.”