WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama plans to speak to business leaders Wednesday morning amid the debate over how to avoid the fiscal cliff. The president plans to answer questions from members of the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies.
The group has been urging immediate action to prevent huge automatic tax increases and spending cuts in January.
Later today, Obama addresses a conference of Native American tribal leaders attending the White House Tribal Nations Summit. Some American Indian and Alaska Native leaders fear the looming cuts in the "fiscal cliff" debate could undermine progress made on tribal issues.
House Republicans' "fiscal cliff" counteroffer to President Barack Obama hints at billions of dollars in military cuts on top of the nearly $500 billion that the White House and Congress backed last year, and even the fiercest defense hawks acknowledge that the Pentagon faces another financial hit.
The GOP proposal calls for $300 billion in discretionary spending cuts to achieve savings of $2.2 trillion over 10 years. The blueprint offers no specifics, although the Pentagon and defense-related departments such as Homeland Security and State make up roughly half the federal government's discretionary spending.
The military, which is still coming to grips with the half-trillion-dollar cut in last year's deficit-reduction law, is looking at another $10 billion to $15 billion cut in projected defense spending each year for the next decade.