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

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora