In his first public appearance since his re-election Tuesday night, President Obama called on Congress Friday to extend tax cuts for the middle class immediately as part of a deal on deficit reduction and spending cuts, a move Republican lawmakers have opposed.

The president also insisted that tax increases on families earning $250,000 or more be part of any eventual agreement to avert the government’s looming “fiscal cliff,” arguing that voters showed on Election Day that they agree with his proposal for “balanced” deficit reduction.

“This was a central question during the election,” Mr. Obama said in the East Room of the White House, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden at his side. “It was debated over and over again, and on Tuesday night, we found out that a majority of Americans agree with my approach. Our job now is to get a majority in Congress to reflect the will of the American people.”


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