News / USA

Obama Presses Senate Republicans on Tax-Cut Extension

President Barack Obama pauses while speaking at Scranton High School in Scranton, Pa., Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011.
President Barack Obama pauses while speaking at Scranton High School in Scranton, Pa., Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday made another visit to an important 2012 election state seeking support for his economic policies, while back in Washington Democrats and Republicans in Congress continued negotiations on how to pay for an extension of expiring tax breaks for Americans.  

Mr. Obama has returned repeatedly to Pennsylvania, a state he won in the 2008 presidential election and which political analysts say remains crucial to his strategy for winning a second term.

His stop in Scranton, Pennsylvania was his eighth there this year. With a visit to New Hampshire last week, it marked his latest effort to pressure Congress to extend and expand tax breaks scheduled to expire at the end of this year.

President Obama and Democrats control the Senate, where a key procedural vote is expected later this week, say extended payroll tax cuts should be paid for by a permanent surtax on Americans earning $1 million or more.

Republicans generally continue to oppose increasing taxes. However, they are also seeking to avoid political damage that would result from voting against preserving a tax break that would help middle class families, especially during the Christmas holiday.

In Scranton, Mr. Obama sought to keep the pressure on Republicans, chiding them for votes in October that blocked his $447 billion jobs bill, which contained the payroll tax extension.

Republicans, he suggested, care more about opposing tax increases for the wealthy than keeping and expanding a tax break that will help middle class families.  

"How is it that they can break their oath when it comes to raising your taxes, but not break their oath when it comes to raising taxes for wealthy people.  That doesn't make any sense.   I hope that they don't want to just score political points, I hope that they want to help the economy.  This cannot be about who wins or loses in Washington, this is about delivering a win for the American people, that is what this is about," he said.

In 2008, President Obama won Pennsylvania by a 10 percent margin over Republican nominee John McCain, but U.S. economic difficulties have hurt his approval ratings there, and the White House hopes to improve that as the 2012 election campaign heats up.

On Capitol Hill, negotiations continued on how to pay for the payroll tax extension.  Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican Congressman John Boehner, spoke of the need to find common ground.

"There is no debate though about whether these extensions ought to be paid for.  The president has called for them to be paid for.  Democrats here have called for them to be paid for.  So, if in fact we can find common ground on these extensions I think you can take to the bank that they will be paid for," he said.

On troubled efforts to bring deficit spending and debt under control, and disagreements between President Obama and Republicans, Boehner said there was a need for a balanced solution but said there is still "room between us" on what that means.

President Obama's day on Wednesday also included a stop in New York City and three events to raise money for his 2012 re-election campaign, ticket prices ranged from $1,000 to the $35,800 maximum permitted under federal fundraising rules.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More