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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs