UPDATE: (CNN) -- President Barack Obama said that if Congress fails to come to an agreement on a debt reduction package by the end of the year, everybody's taxes will go up. "That makes no sense," he said. "It would be bad for the economy."
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Flush with re-election vigor, President Barack Obama on Friday will provide his first public comments on the upcoming negotiations with Congress on how to deal with pending tax hikes and spending cuts that create the so-called fiscal cliff facing the economy at the end of the year.
Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are positioned as the lead negotiators in a showdown between Democrats and Republicans over the issue identified by voters as a top priority: reducing the chronic federal deficits and debt considered a threat to economic prosperity and national security.
Boehner, R-Ohio, signaled a willingness to deal on Friday but also maintained hard-line GOP opposition to any tax increase.
"Raising tax rates will slow down our ability to create the jobs everyone says they want," Boehner said at a news conference, noting that higher taxes on the wealthy will hit small business owners.
But he also said that "everything on the revenue side and on the spending side has to be looked at."
Boehner called on Obama to take the lead in offering a workable plan that Republicans can accept but stopped short of providing details, saying: "I don't want to limit the options available to me or limit the options that might be available to the White House."
Asked if tea party conservatives or others in his caucus might oppose an agreement they don't like, Boehner responded: "When the president and I have been able to come to an agreement, there has been no problem in getting it passed here in the House."
Obama was scheduled to deliver a statement on the economy at the White House later on Friday.
Boehner's hand was weakened by the election results Tuesday that returned Obama to the White House, broadened the Democratic majority in the Senate and slightly narrowed the Republican majority in the House.
Retiring GOP Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio told CNN that a poll commissioned by centrist Republicans showed that voters wanted Congress to fix the nation's fiscal problems rather than cling to political orthodoxy.
"They didn't send the same bunch back to town in this election because they love what they're doing," LaTourette said. "They sent him back because they don't trust either side, but they do expect them to get this thing done."
While the result was another split Congress like the current session that has become a symbol of legislative dysfunction, both sides have signaled a possible new openness to an agreement that was unreachable in the past two years.
In the final days of the campaign, Vice President Joe Biden referred to private talks with members of Congress on the pending fiscal impacts of expiring tax cuts and mandatory budget cuts. This week, Boehner called on Obama to work with him to complete a comprehensive deficit reduction agreement -- the "grand bargain" that eluded them last year.
LaTourette said both Boehner and Obama were held back from a deal back then because of pressure from their respective bases -- Republicans who signed a pledge against any new taxes stopped Boehner, while liberal defenders of entitlement programs halted Obama.
"The 'no tax pledge' people in the Republican Party yanked Boehner back and the 'don't you dare touch the middle class' entitlement people in the president's party pulled him back, and as a result those talks collapsed," LaTourette said.
Boehner made clear this week that a comprehensive agreement won't happen by the end of the year in the lame-duck session of Congress. He proposed that the two sides use that time to set up a framework for substantive negotiations when the new Congress comes in next year while taking short-term steps to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, a top Democrat in the chamber, said such a timetable could work.
"We have a chance in the lame duck to at least start the process, and I think there's a chance to rally bipartisan support," he said. "These are basic issues we can work out, and the president is in a position to do that."
The fiscal cliff comprises two main elements. Tax cuts from the administration of President George W. Bush will expire on December 31, triggering a return to higher Clinton-era rates for everyone.
In addition, $1.2 trillion in mandatory across-the-board budget cuts -- known in legislative parlance as the sequester -- will take effect next year unless Congress finds a way to offset that amount in the federal budget.
Another looming issue will be the need to again increase the nation's debt ceiling sometime in the spring, creating the potential for more political brinksmanship that contributed to last year's first-ever downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.
Both sides agree the best outcome