By Mark Felsenthal
WASHINGTON Nov 8 Newly re-elected President
Barack Obama will make a statement on the economy on Friday, the
White House said, setting the stage for a showdown with
congressional Republicans over contentious tax and spending
The president is likely to discuss looming tax increases and
government spending cuts - the so-called fiscal cliff - that
would go into effect early next year unless Congress acts to
prevent them. He is due to make the statement from the East Room
of the White House at 1:05 p.m. (1805 GMT).
Obama, who defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney on
Tuesday in a race in which the two candidates offered different
visions for jump-starting the sluggish economy, is not expected
to put forward a new or specific plan.
Instead, he is more likely to urge Congress to tackle the
fiscal cliff and try to cut the massive U.S. budget deficit.
Analysts have said that if left unaddressed, the abrupt fiscal
tightening would knock the economy back into recession.
Congressional Republicans have already begun to stake out
their position on ways to spare the already modest economic
recovery from a fiscal shock. House of Representatives Speaker
John Boehner is scheduled to hold a news conference earlier on
The president's advisers told reporters earlier on Thursday
that dealing with the fiscal cliff would be an immediate
priority. The administration sees Obama's re-election an
endorsement of his position that affluent Americans should see
their taxes rise, they said.
"One of the messages that was sent by the American people
throughout this campaign is ... (they) clearly chose the
president's view of making sure that the wealthiest Americans
are asked to do a little bit more in the context of reducing our
deficit in a balanced way," senior White House adviser David