ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:
President Obama today said he still believes that the issue of tax cuts will be resolved by the end of the year.
“I believe it will get resolved,” Obama said from the Blair House this afternoon, “That doesn’t mean there may not be some posturing over the next several days. But I’m confident in the end people are going to recognize that it’s important for families who are still struggling to have some relief and it’s important for our economy to make sure that money is still out there circulating at a time when we are recovering but we’re not recovering as fast as we need to.”
The president said this issue is going to be an important discussion over the “next several days.”
The president spoke from the Garden Room of the Blair House at the start of al lunch he hosted for the nation’s thirteen newly-elected governors, where in opening remarks he mentioned the bipartisan meeting on Tuesday at the White House.
“I’m actually optimistic that before the end of the year we are going to have come to some agreements on some critical issues,” he said.
The president said that it is his “hope and expectation” that they will get the issue of unemployment insurance resolved additionally.
“If we don’t do something, 7 million people could lose their unemployment insurance. That’s not also -- that’s not just a potential tragedy for those individual families. It could have a huge impact on your local economies because every economist of every stripe will tell you that unemployment insurance dollars are probably the ones that are most likely to be spent, most likely to be recirculated, most likely to help to boost small business and services all across your states and they’re going to have an effect on your sales revenue.”
The president said that as someone who previously served in state government, he knows this is where the “rubber meets the road,” and said that he hopes everyone can start working together, from both parties.
“We have just had a very vigorously contested election, but the election is over. And now I think it’s time for all of us to make sure that we’re working together. I am a very proud Democrat, as some of you in the room are, although not as many as I had expected. Some of you are very proud Republicans. But we’re all prouder to be Americans.”
The president urged the new governors not to wait until they’re “really mad about something” before they call the White House.
“We’d prefer not to read about it in the press,” he said amid laughter.
As they left the Blair House President Obama and Vice President Biden did not give much – except a few clues of confidence -- when asked about the tax cut negotiations currently underway.
Asked by ABC’s Ann Compton as they left separately this afternoon if negotiations are breaking down, given Speaker-to-be Boehner’s quip that forcing a vote this afternoon on a permanent extension of the middle class tax cuts is “chicken crap,” Biden answered a blunt no.
“No,” Biden answered, “Not that I'm aware of. You've got to ask Geithner. He's the one running them."
When asked the same question, President Obama was a little less forthcoming. But, as he ignored the question he gave a thumbs as he walked away.