News / USA

Obama Boosts Public Campaign on Taxes

President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Nov. 28, 2012, about how middle-class Americans would see their taxes go up if Congress fails to act to extend the middle-class tax cuts.
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Nov. 28, 2012, about how middle-class Americans would see their taxes go up if Congress fails to act to extend the middle-class tax cuts.
Kent Klein
— President Barack Obama is asking Americans to pressure Republican lawmakers to vote for legislation he says would prevent a tax increase on the middle class. The president is conducting a public campaign to get his wish.

American families and businesses will face higher taxes January 1 if Congress does not pass, and Obama does not sign, legislation preventing this from happening.

The president wants to preserve the tax break for all but the richest Americans, while Republicans want the tax cuts extended for top income-earners as well. If Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on a plan by the end of the year, all Americans will see their taxes rise.

Obama spoke Wednesday in front of a group of middle-class Americans who were invited to the White House to demonstrate their support for his economic plan.

There was no question about who the message was intended to reach.

“If we can get a few House Republicans to agree as well, I will sign this bill as soon as Congress sends it my way," Obama said  "I have got to repeat: I have got a pen, and I am ready to sign it.” 

The president implored Americans to use their telephones, email and social media accounts to help him make his case to Republicans in Congress, some of whom have signaled a willingness to compromise.

“Today, I am asking Congress to listen to the people who sent us here to serve," he said. "I am asking Americans all across the country to make your voice heard.”

Obama’s campaign has not just been targeted toward the middle class. This week he has also sought support from business and labor leaders.

“I am sitting down with CEOs. I am sitting down with labor leaders. I am talking to leaders in Congress,” he said.

Some Republicans said the White House campaign will cause more harm than good, leading opposition lawmakers to turn against the president. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday Obama needs to stop campaigning and get to work.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Nov. 27, 2012.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Nov. 27, 2012.
x
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Nov. 27, 2012.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Nov. 27, 2012.
“It seems like our friends on the other side are having some difficulty kind of turning off the campaign, McConnell said. "We need to sit down and work this matter out. I think we have a clear sense that there is an opportunity here at the end of the year to do something important for the country.”

The president and the leaders in Congress have held only one meeting on the issue, on November 16.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, however, is to meet separately Thursday with Senator McConnell and other leaders of the House and Senate.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid