President Obama is unleashing a new tactic to pressure Congress into a budget deal—he’s going local.
The president hosted a call Wednesday with a bipartisan group of mayors and community leaders from across the country. One group of mayors also attended the call in person at the White House. But only three mayors took part in the question-and-answer session, including Mayor R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis, also Vice Chair of the DNC.
“What [the president] really wants is for us to say that at Christmastime we should have people come together and they can in Washington,” Mayor Rybak said on Jansing & Co.
The mayor described President Obama as “resolved” during the conference call and said the president focused on preventing an income tax increase on middle-class families.
“The key piece here is the president went out to the American people for the past year and he said, ‘We can solve this problem but we have to make a choice. We’re either going to put the burden on the middle class, who are already burdened, or we’re going to ask those on the very top end to give a little more’,” said Mayor Rybak.
Several mayors who participated invited some of their constituents to join in on the president’s conference call.
“They asked him to hold tough because they don’t want their taxes increased anymore,” Rybak said.
If no deal is reached and the nation goes over the fiscal cliff, Mayor Rybak said the impact on his city would be a huge challenge for large companies and small businesses alike.
“The taxes on those who spend money in those businesses will be raised. It will slow sales. It already has,” he said. “And inaction by Congress is already the Grinch that’s stealing Christmas.”