WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is taking his case for avoiding a potentially unsettling “fiscal cliff” to the Philadelphia suburbs, employing campaign-style tactics in hopes of mobilizing public support for his plan to hike taxes on the wealthy. The trip comes amid signs of impatience in the negotiations between Republican leaders and the White House.
Obama was scheduled to go to Hatfield, Pa., to pressure Republicans to extend existing Bush-era tax rates for households earning $250,000 or less, while allowing increases to kick in for those with incomes above that threshold.
White House officials believe today’s trip will build momentum for the president’s case, even as Republicans describe it as an irritant and an obstacle to fruitful talks.
The White House said today that Obama will insist on higher taxes for the top 2 percent of earners during his Pennsylvania trip and that he would cast Republicans as an obstacle to a deal.
Republicans have said they are open to new tax revenue but not higher rates.
Obama was to tour and speak at the Rodon Group manufacturing facility, showcasing the company as an example of a business that depends on middle-class consumers during the holiday season. The company manufactures parts for K’NEX Brands.
For Obama, the trip to Pennsylvania is part of a strategy to press his case publicly even while negotiating privately. He has already met with small business owners and with middle-class families in separate White House events. He has also invited business and labor leaders to the White House as well as Democratic operatives who can echo his plans on the airwaves.