Obama Asks Congress for Pared-Down Bill

National Journal Staff

President Obama on Friday asked Congress to pass a bare-bones bill that would stop tax rates from rising on income of $250,000 or less while also extending unemployment insurance and laying the groundwork for deficit reduction discussions in 2013.

A day after House Speaker John Boehner failed to get his own party’s support for a bill that would hold tax rates steady for anyone making less than $1 million, Obama said there was still enough time to spare the middle class from a tax hike.

Obama said he spoke with Boehner on Friday and met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The president asked lawmakers headed home for a short holiday break to think about what could be accomplished in the 10 days left before $500 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes – known as the fiscal cliff -- takes effect.

“Governing is a shared responsibility,” he said. “Nobody gets 100 percent of what they want.”