(WASHINGTON) — “Constructive” is the buzzword of the day at the White House, following Friday’s first fiscal cliff summit between President Obama and top congressional leaders.
All the major players used the word to describe the conversation that lasted 70 minutes in the Roosevelt Room.
“The President and the leadership had a constructive meeting,” spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. “We will continue a constructive process to find a solution and come to a conclusion as soon as possible.”
House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were equally sanguine, appearing together outside the West Wing in a rare joint photo-op.
“I believe that we can do this and avert the fiscal cliff that’s in front of us today,” said Boehner.
Reid said he felt “very good” about the tenor of the talks. “We have a cornerstones of being able to work something out,” he said. “We’re both going to have to give up some of the things that we know are a problem.”
Both sides agreed to lay out “milestones of success so that confidence can build” among the American people, said Pelosi. “I feel confident that a solution is in sight.”
Negotiators will work “during the Thanksgiving recess” with a goal of not waiting until the last day of December to reach a deal, according to Reid. The White House said senior officials would continue meeting with congressional staff over the next several days while Obama travels in Asia.
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