Obama meets with Senate majority leader on fiscal cliff

Reid campaigned for Obama in Nevada in August. Reid campaigned for Obama in Nevada in August. Carolyn Kaster/AP
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., met Tuesday afternoon with President Obama on the fiscal cliff and other matters, Reid and Democratic aides said.

The meeting between Reid and Obama was unannounced until Reid referenced it during a Senate floor speech Tuesday evening. It came before a widely publicized meeting Friday in which Obama will huddle with Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. A Democratic leadership aide said topics included the fiscal cliff and a cybersecurity bill Democrats hope to advance. The aide said the Tuesday meeting was not secret, though it was not announced. Further details were not immediately available.

“I left the White House an hour or two ago,” Reid said at around 5:15pm Tuesday. “The president of the United States believes the cybersecurity bill is one of the most important things facing the country now, not next Congress.”

Senate Republicans this summer blocked that bill over concerns about its impact on businesses. Reid said he expects them to block it again in a test vote that he said he will force before the chamber adjourns for Thanksgiving next week. Reid said the Senate will then move to a National Defense Authorization bill, but will not try to pass that measure until after the holiday.
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