Obama to discuss 'fiscal cliff' with labor leaders

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is opening a new campaign to build pressure on Congress to cut the federal debt the way he sees fit, meeting with labor leaders who want lawmakers to raise taxes on the wealthy and prevent cuts to health benefits for seniors.

Obama is kicking off a series of meetings with labor officials, business executives and congressional leaders aimed at pushing Congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff and find consensus on a plan to prevent more financial hardships next year.

The week includes a tone-setting news conference Wednesday that will give the president the chance to frame his outlook on the year-ending lame-duck session of Congress.

Labor unions want Obama to stand firm on letting the Bush tax cuts expire and raising taxes on the wealthy.


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