WASHINGTON Nov 16 White House officials will
continue talks to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff" as
President Barack Obama travels in Asia in the coming week, White
House spokesman Jay Carney said on Friday after the president
and congressional leaders began crafting a deal on the looming
automatic spending cuts and tax hikes.
"Members of the president's senior team will continue
meetings and discussions with members of Congress and staff over
the next several days while the President travels in Asia,"
Carney said in a statement.
Obama leaves on Saturday for a trip to Asia that will
include a historic stop in Myanmar.
On Friday, he met with the most powerful members of both
parties in Congress - House Speaker John Boehner, Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. It was the first
meeting on how to avert the combination of tax hikes and
spending cuts set to occur early next year since Obama's
re-election last week.
Carney echoed the conciliatory comments the lawmakers made
about the meeting, saying "both sides agreed that while there
may be differences in our preferred approaches, we will continue
a constructive process to find a solution and come to a
conclusion as soon as possible."