Obama may hold public events on fiscal cliff this week

Jose Luis Magana/AP
With the fiscal cliff steadily approaching, President Obama could hit the road this week in an attempt at garnering public support for increasing tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Obama and congressional leaders are unlikely to meet this week, as their staffs are still ironing out policy differences, The Journal reported.

In order to bridge the gap between the two parties, the White House has tapped Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to lead the negotiations, The Journal reported. During the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations, then-White House budget chief and now-Chief of Staff Jacob Lew led negations. However, Lew clashed with Republican leaders over certain entitlement programs, like Medicaid, The Journal reported.

Although Republicans have come around in recent weeks to the idea of generating more revenue through closing tax loopholes, they are still averse to raising tax rates. Some Democrats, on the other hand, have said they are willing to reform certain entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid.

And, although some Republicans have said they are willing to walk away from an anti-tax pledge made to Americans for Tax Reform, a group led by influential anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, Democrats have insisted Republicans have to go further.

If Congress fails to act, the combination of tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" will kick in at the beginning of next year.
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