President Barack Obama and the First Family and their friends have been enjoying their Christmas vacation in Hawaii since arriving on Saturday just after midnight, but the President will return to the nation’s capitol ahead of his family, the White House has announced.
Obama will leave Hawaii on Wednesday night, so he can continue negotiations with Republicans in Congress over the looming “fiscal cliff.”
The President wants to increase taxes on incomes of $400,000 or more, while the majority of Republicans in the House want to cut spending. Taxes will increase on January 1 unless they come to an agreement. Some economists also speculate that going over the fiscal cliff could plunge America back into a recession. The fiscal cliff measures are set to take effect January 1. New members of Congress will be sworn in on January 3.
The Senate convenes this Thursday to prepare for any vote that they may be required to take.
Since arriving in Hawaii, Obama and the First Lady attended just one public event – the Sunday memorial service for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye.
Privately the First Family has gone hiking together on the Windward Side of Oahu, and the President has been golfing.
Typically the First Family stays through the New Year in the islands.
Kailua residents surrounding the homes where the First Family and their friends are staying were told the U.S. Coast Guard is enforcing a security zone around Kailua waterways until January 6. Signs posted in the residential area where the President is staying say there is “no parking” in the area from December 21 to January 6 at 8 p.m.