Obama’s call came after no progress was made between Republicans and Democrats in Congress over Thanksgiving. Photograph: Charlres Dharapak/AP
Barack Obama has enlisted the help of his formidable grassroots army of volunteers in the battle with Republican members of Congress over thefiscal cliff, the January 1 deadline for a deal on tax and spending.
The Obama for America campaign team, which has remained intact post-election, sent out a message to supporters saying that though there is a lot of stake, with their help a deal is possible.
It comes after reports of no progress by the Republican and Democratic teams left behind in Congress over the Thanksgiving holiday period to start work on a compromise package.
The White House move suggests it has learned the lesson about the impact of grassroots opinion from the battle over healthcare reform. At that time, Democrats failed to match Republican and Tea Party groups who piled the pressure on Congress through the mail, in town hall meetings and in protests on Capitol Hill.
The Obama campaign team, in an email to its extensive network of supporters, said: “Right now, president Obama is working with leaders of both parties in Washington to reduce the deficit in a balanced way so we can lay the foundation for long-term middle-class job growth and prevent your taxes from going up.”
It calls on them to spread the word about Obama’s position to friends, families and neighbours. It said he wanted a balanced budget that will extend tax cuts for 98% of the population, eliminate tax cuts for the wealthiest and cut spending by $3tn.
“These problems are challenging, but they’re solvable. In fact, the Senate has already passed a bill to keep your taxes low. The House needs to pass it, and Congress should get it to the president as soon as possible,” the OFA mail said.