News / USA

Boehner Pushes His Own Tax and Spending Bills in Standoff with Obama

Fiscal Cliff Boehner
Fiscal Cliff Boehner
Cindy Saine
Republican House Speaker John Boehner is holding a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives late Thursday on an alternative to the compromise proposal to avert massive tax increases and spending cuts put forward by Democratic President Barack Obama.  
 
As the week began, congressional aides said the president and the Speaker appeared to be very close to reaching an agreement to avert a number of measures - including automatic tax increases and severe spending cuts known as the sequester - due to take effect January 1.  
 
But now, the two men have stopped negotiating and Boehner says he is pushing ahead with his own two bills on a tax cut and spending cuts, which he is calling "Plan B."
 
"Today we will vote to protect as many American families and small businesses as possible from the tax hikes that are already scheduled to occur," he said. 
 
Boehner's bill would raise taxes only on annual incomes of more than $1 million.  Democrats are rejecting the plan, saying it will not do anything to solve the country's fiscal problems.
 
Senate Democrats have already passed a bill that would raise taxes on those Americans earning more than $250,000 a year, and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid says that is the bill he wants Boehner to send over from the House.
 
"Until Republicans take up our bill in the House, the one that has passed here, there is nothing to discuss.  We are not taking up any of the things that they are working on over there now," he said. 
 
President Obama has said he would veto Boehner's $1 million dollar income threshold bill, and has called for the Speaker to quickly come back to the negotiating table before time runs out.
 
Democratic lawmakers say that Boehner's vote on "Plan B" is merely a political tactic to try to get the president to give more ground on spending cuts and taxes.  Democratic Senator Charles Schumer:
 
"Basically, 'Plan B' is not taken seriously by anyone in America except a small number in the Republican caucus," he said. 
 
Economists have warned that if the president and Congress do not agree to avert the "fiscal cliff" measures, it could send the U.S. economy back into recession.  
 
Mark Vitner, the senior economist at Wells Fargo Bank, said  "I think this is all political theater in that it’s very difficult for the Republicans to come to an agreement before the end of the year.  So we are likely to see the Bush tax cuts expire, and then have them reinstated early next year."
 
Vitner says he believes that the broad outlines of a deal will be known soon, but that nothing will likely be done on it until after Christmas.  He said a final vote may not occur until January 2 or 3, before this current session of Congress ends and the newly-elected Congress comes in.  
 
Veteran political analyst Larry Sabato said the current standoff between Speaker Boehner and President Obama reflects a deeper divide in the country.
 
“This is a reflection of the deep polarization that exists in America and the fact that the two parties really have very little in common.  It’s not just a personal thing between President Obama and Speaker Boehner.  It’s more that they represent two clearly distinct philosophies of government and it’s awfully difficult to compromise your basic principles," he said. 
 
Throughout the long debate on taxes and spending, Democrats have insisted on raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and Republicans have insisted on significant cuts to social programs that Democrats hold dear.  With only 11 days left until the end of the year, Americans are watching to see if the two major parties can reach a compromise.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MchL from: the Middle of the USA
December 20, 2012 6:49 PM
I didn't realize John Boehner made all the decision for this country.


by: Phillip Durkin from: Lexington, KY
December 20, 2012 4:53 PM
In my humble opinion, our elected leaders are a bunch of greedy, self-serving bums. Only an idiot spends more than they take in. Its Economics 101. Yet year after year these self appointed messiahs spend, without regard to the consquences. If I had my way they would all be in prison for what they've done to this Country

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid