President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks about the economy and the deficit, Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says raising taxes on wealthiest Americans must be part of deficit reduction plan but says he is "open to compromise" and "new ideas." Obama says he will refuse to accept any approach that "isn't balanced."
Obama says in his first public comments since the election that Congress should pass a bill that would prevent Bush-era tax cuts from expiring for all but the wealthiest Americans. He says lawmakers from both parties need to work together to tackle the nation's fiscal problems.
The president says he is inviting congressional leaders of both parties to the White House next week for talks on how to avoid the fiscal cliff. Lawmakers face a Jan. 2 deadline to reach an agreement.
Obama will announce the invitations on Friday as he addresses the nation on actions needed to avoid harsh economic consequences from a looming combination of tax increases and spending cuts.
Obama is expected to urge Congress to act, including passing a bill that would prevent Bush-era tax cuts from expiring for all but the wealthiest Americans.
In his address from the White House East Room, Obama is not expected to put forward a specific plan, but instead will call on lawmakers from both parties to work together to tackle the nation's fiscal problems.