Obama Prods Congress to Prevent Tax Increase on 98%
President Barack Obama, facing a budget stalemate with Republicans, urged leaders of both parties to assemble an interim bill to keep taxes from rising on middle-income Americans as they work on a more comprehensive plan.
Obama said “all of us agree” that rates shouldn’t go up for 98 percent of taxpayers when the new year starts. He also seeks to have unemployment insurance extended for about 2 million Americans who will lose benefits in January, and a commitment to deal with spending cuts next year.
“I am still ready and willing to get a comprehensive package done,” Democrat Obama said at the White House yesterday, a day after House Speaker John Boehner couldn’t deliver enough Republican votes for his own alternative plan, throwing negotiations into turmoil.
A plan can be achieved “whether it happens all at once or whether it happens in several different steps,” the president said. “Call me a hopeless optimist, but I actually still think we can get it done.”