News / USA

Obama Hails Senate Procedural Vote on Income Taxes

President Barack Obama on Monday welcomed a key procedural vote in the U.S. Senate on his compromise tax deal with opposition Republicans. Obama spoke to reporters after the measure cleared that first hurdle in the Senate and urged the measure's passage in the House of House of Representatives, where it faces sharp criticism from members of his Democratic Party.

The White House was confident in achieving the votes required to move the measure ahead in the Senate, although the president knows there is more work to do with Democrats in the House who are unhappy with the compromise.

Obama said he has been speaking with House lawmakers about a vote there later this week after the Senate's final vote, which is expected on Tuesday or Wednesday. "I recognize that folks on both sides of the political spectrum are unhappy with certain parts of the package and I understand those concerns. I share some of them. But that is the nature of compromise - sacrificing something that each of us cares about to move forward on what matters to all of us," he said.

At an estimated cost of more than $850 billion, the tax deal would extend for two years current lower tax rates for middle and upper income Americans put in place under former President George W. Bush.  

In return, Republicans agreed to a 13-month extension of benefits for about two million unemployed Americans along with provisions that analysts say amount to a second economic stimulus package.

Taken as a whole, Mr. Obama said, the proposal will grow the economy and create jobs "Nearly every economist agrees that that is what this package will do," he said.

But in the Senate, a Democrat who voted against the tax deal, Colorado's Mark Udall, disagreed. "If tax cuts for the wealthy among us were an efficient way to spur innovation and investment, I have to believe economists would be telling us to continue them. But here is what they're actually saying. Economists of all stripes are telling us that extending cuts for the wealthy is one of the least effective ways to create jobs and build the economy," he said.

Obama has faced intense criticism from liberal House Democrats who accuse him of sacrificing core party principles for a deal with Republicans, who are emboldened by their midterm congressional election victories last month.

After expected final Senate passage, the White House has warned against any significant changes by House Democrats that could cause the compromise to unravel.

A key House Democratic leader, Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen, calls the Senate bill unacceptable and vows to make changes in at least one area involving taxes on estates.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says Democrats continue to work out their differences, and has not rule out potential amendments to the Senate measure. The core priority, he says, is to ensure that there are no tax increases for Americans.

"In order not to see that happen, we need to get a bill through Congress and signed by the president. We're working on that. The legislative process is a process of give and take.  And I think that is going to occur," he said.

As the president continues working to ensure congressional passage of the tax bill, the White House is playing down a ruling by a federal judge on a key aspect of Mr. Obama's health care reform law.

The ruling by a judge in the state of Virginia found that the provision requiring Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 unconstitutional, but it did not block the overall health care law from moving forward.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the administration disagrees with the ruling, which he noted was expected. He rejected suggestions that it validates a central argument against the health care law. "We're confident that it is constitutional and quite frankly, of the three courts that have rendered decisions on this question, two have ruled in our favor," he said.

Republicans have vowed to try to repeal the health care law, and it faces legal challenge in several U.S. states. Legal analysts expect at least one of these cases to eventually reach the Supreme Court.

Republicans immediately cited the ruling as a victory. Ohio Representative John Boehner, who is expected to become House Speaker in January, reiterated his party's intention to repeal the health care law.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
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 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 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 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.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid