WASHINGTON President Barack Obama will launch a multipronged push this week to garner support for his proposals to solve U.S. fiscal problems, meeting with business executives at the White House and visiting a small business in Pennsylvania to press his case.
Obama has sought to go on the offensive since his re-election on November 6 in the fight with Republicans over the "fiscal cliff" - a combination of tax increases and spending cuts that would go into effect next year if the two sides do not reach a deal to stop it.
As part of that effort, the White House released a report on Monday showing the impact that middle class tax increases would have on consumers and the retail industry.
On Tuesday, a White House official said, the president will meet with a group of small-business owners. On Wednesday he will host an event with "middle class Americans who would be impacted if Congress fails to act to extend the middle class tax cuts," the official said. He will also hold a meeting with business leaders, something he has done previously.
On Friday, he will visit a manufacturing facility of The Rodon Group, a small business that is a manufacturer for K'NEX Brands, a toy company with products including Tinkertoy and Angry Bird Building Sets.
"The president will travel to Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, to continue making the public case for action by visiting a business that depends on middle class consumers during the holiday season, and could be impacted if taxes go up on 98 percent of Americans at the end of the year," the official said.
Obama's visit and his meetings at the White House are designed to put pressure on congressional Republicans to extend tax cuts for middle-income people while ending them for families who make more than $250,000 a year.
Gaining the support of the business community is a key part of Obama's strategy. Reinforcing that, the White House released an analysis by its National Economic Council that said millions of small-business owners would suffer if the middle class taxes went up next year.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)