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‘Mr. President, this is your moment’

Speaker of the House John Boehner tells fellow Republicans it is time to find compromise on tax increases and reform to avoid plunging into fiscal crisis.

In the wake of President Barack Obama??s reelection, Speaker of the House John Boehner told fellow Republicans it is time to find compromise on tax increases and reform to avoid plunging into fiscal crisis.

Between now and January, Congress faces a multi-headed hydra known as the fiscal cliff: more than one trillion in automatic defense and domestic budget cuts and the expiration of the George W. Bush package of tax breaks.

As if to accentuate the fiscal uncertainty of another four years of Obama, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly 300 points on Wednesday, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also took sharp hits.

In a press briefing at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon, Boehner said the situation was untenable.

??After years of punting on the fiscal challenges we face, 2013 is going to be different,? he said. ??We won??t solve the problem of our fiscal imbalance overnight. What we can do is avert the cliff in a manner that serves as a downpayment on and a catalyst for major solutions in 2013.?

He recalled the fiscal compromises and reform struck by President Ronald Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O??Neill in 1986, and told Republicans that a balanced approach would include willingness to consider new tax increases, as well as real cuts to entitlements

??Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and (Rep.) Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) offered substantive proposals in the Supercommittee last year that provided revenue as well as tax reform,? Boehner said. ??… Let??s start the discussion there. I am suggesting find common ground where it exists.?

Hensarling, the co-chair of the 2011 Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, or Supercommittee, has faulted Obama for the committee??s failure, saying the $1 trillion in tax increases to offset his changes to health care spending proved unacceptably high, while still leaving the nation with snowballing debt.

Boehner also leveled a challenge to Obama, calling on him to take the lead in finding compromise.

??Mr. President, this is your moment,? he said. ??We??re ready to be led. Not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans.?

Written By

Hope Hodge first covered military issues for the Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C., where her beat included the sprawling Marine Corps base, Camp Lejeune. During her two years at the paper, she received investigative reporting awards for exposing a former Marine who was using faked military awards to embezzle disability pay from the government and for breaking news about the popularity of the designer drug Spice in the ranks. Her work has also appeared in The American Spectator, New York Sun, WORLD Magazine, and The Washington Post. Hodge was born near Boston, Mass., where she grew up as a lover of Revolutionary War history and fall foliage. She also discovered a love of politics and policy as a grassroots volunteer and activist on Beacon Hill. She graduated in 2009 with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King's College in New York City, where she served as editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and worked as a teaching assistant when not freelancing or using student discounts to see Broadway shows. Hope??s email is