Obama Keeps Pressure On Congress Over Fiscal Cliff

In his push for a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, President Obama met with small business leaders Tuesday at the White House.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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President Obama hosted a group of small business owners at the White House today. It's part of a broader outreach effort aimed at keeping the pressure on Congress to find a way around the so-called fiscal cliff. NPR's Scott Horsley begins our coverage.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: President Obama has not had much luck yet persuading congressional Republicans to adopt his tax proposal. So he's turning instead to the American people in hopes they can move Congress to see things his way. All this week, the administration will be showcasing ordinary Americans who stand to benefit if Congress agrees to keep most tax rates low while raising taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent.

Mr. Obama met today with owners of a trucking company, a construction firm, a microbrewery and Lewis Prince, who owns a vintage record store in St. Louis.

LEW PRINCE: What grows jobs in America are consumers spending money, and the average person needs that $2- or $3,000 a year in his pocket to help drive the economy.

HORSLEY: Unless lawmakers agree to a deal by year's end, everyone's taxes will go up, and the White House says that would cost a typical family about $2,200 next year. Later this week, Mr. Obama takes his case on the road, visiting a Tinkertoy factory in Pennsylvania, in search of the building blocks of a budget compromise. Scott Horsley, NPR News, the White House.

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