Re-elected Barack Obama would push quickly for fiscal deal -party aides
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If President Barack Obama wins re-election, he's expected to move quickly, perhaps within a day, to renew his bid for a bipartisan deal to avert a fiscal cliff that threatens to push the United States into recession, top Senate Democratic aides said on Monday.
A victorious Obama could reach out to Republicans as early as Wednesday and pledge that, with the election decided, it's time to find common ground to deal with the year-end expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and the launch of automatic spending cuts that would suck $600 billion out of the economy in 2013.
He wants to get the process started immediately, one aide said. We could move quickly, another aide said, explaining that the basic ingredients of any deal - increased tax revenues coupled with cuts in entitlement programs - have been debated thoroughly for the past two years.
Everyone knows what needs to be done, he said.
Two Democratic aides said White House officials have discussed the matter with top Senate Democrats, though it remains unclear exactly how a re-elected Obama would proceed.
But as one aide said, the White House intends to move quickly because it wants a big deal before the current Congress adjourns in December. The White House had no comment.
If Republican challenger Mitt Romney wins, much of the work on a deficit-reduction deal that replaces the automatic cuts and reforms the tax code could be largely delayed until he takes office on Jan 20.
But Republicans in Congress would quickly launch an effort to delay the cuts and keep tax rates unchanged for six months to a year to buy time for a comprehensive tax reform deal.
House Speaker John Boehner said on Sunday that he would angle for a temporary bridge to allow the new administration and the next Congress to craft a solution.