WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is setting out to leverage his re-election into legislative success in an upcoming showdown with congressional Republicans over taxes, deficits and the impending "fiscal cliff."
House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans are willing to consider some form of higher tax revenue as part of the solution -- but only under what he calls "the right conditions."
All sides are setting out opening arguments for the negotiations to come.
Even before returning to Washington from his hometown of Chicago, Obama was on the phone Wednesday with the four top leaders of the House and Senate -- Boehner included -- to talk about the lame-duck Congress that convenes just one week after Election Day.
Without a budget deal to head off the fiscal showdown, the nation faces a combination of expiring Bush-era tax cuts and steep across-the-board spending cuts that could total $800 billion next year. Economists have warned that could tip the nation back into recession.
Vice President Joe Biden, flying to his home in Delaware from Chicago, told reporters aboard Air Force Two that the White House was "really anxious" to get moving on the problem. He said he'd been making a lot of calls and "people know we've got to get down to work and I think they're ready to move." He didn't identify whom he'd been speaking with but predicted the "fever will break" on past legislative gridlock after some soul-searching by Republicans.