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Obama to Work With Republicans on Taxes, Spending

President Barack Obama delivers his weekly address, 6 Nov 2010

President Barack Obama delivers his weekly address, 6 Nov 2010

U.S. President Barack Obama has wasted no time in trying to find common ground with the opposition Republican Party, which trounced his Democratic Party in Congressional elections a few days ago.

In his weekly address Saturday, Mr. Obama asked for support for his decision to prolong tax cuts first enacted under former Republican President George W. Bush. The reduced-tax plan is due to expire at the end of this year.

Mr. Obama said he believes in permanently extending tax cuts for middle-class Americans, but he will not support tax breaks for the wealthy. He also said there is bipartisan agreement on the need to reduce government spending.

Taxes and spending were major campaign points for Republicans this year. In the party's weekly address, Florida Senator-elect Marco Rubio said he opposes any deal that does not provide tax breaks for all taxpayers.

Republicans won 61 seats previously held by Democrats in the House of Representatives, more than enough to give them majority control of the chamber when the next Congress convenes in January. Republicans also made gains in the Senate.

Mr. Obama, who has just begun a lengthy trip in Asia, has invited Democratic and Republican Congressional leaders to meet with him at the White House on November 18, after he returns to Washington, to discuss ways to work together.

The outgoing Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has been invited, and so has the expected incoming Speaker, Republican John Boehner. Senate Majority Leader Democrat Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are also invited.

Pelosi announced Friday that she will seek her party's support to become the House minority leader.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.