News / USA

Obama Urges Congressional Republicans to Support Extension of Key Tax Cut

President Barack Obama makes a statement to reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011.
President Barack Obama makes a statement to reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011.

President Barack Obama is again urging opposition Republican lawmakers to support an extension of payroll tax cuts for American workers, which is due to expire at the end of the year. Mr. Obama spoke as Senate Democrats unveiled a modified version of the legislation on Capitol Hill.

The president came to the White House briefing room to make his latest appeal to Republicans to support an extension of the tax cut approved by Congress as part of a budget agreement last year.

Last week, a Democratic measure that included a proposal for a surtax on high-earning Americans was voted down, as was a competing Republican measure that would have paid for the payroll tax cut extension with sharp reductions in the federal workforce.

In his remarks, Mr. Obama pointed to recent comments by Republican leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives about the importance of renewing the tax cuts, and urged them to support the extension. "Keep your word to the American people and don't raise taxes on them right now. Now is not the time to slam on the brakes; now is the time to step on the gas. Now is the time to keep growing the economy, to keep creating jobs, to keep giving working Americans the boost that they need," he said.

The president said he is willing to work with Republicans to extend the payroll tax cut "in a responsible way," but he said he refuses to do so in a way that "actually hurts the economy."

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Democrat Harry Reid formally announced a scaled-back version of the Democratic bill that failed to pass in the Senate last week.

Reid said that based on last week's vote, he is skeptical that Republicans want to prevent expiration of the tax cuts, which would effect about 160 million Americans. "Republicans need to be prepared to meet us part way. We are offering a serious proposal with meaningful concessions, including spending cuts to which Republicans have already agreed," he said.

Among the concessions, Democrats lowered the surtax on Americans earning more than $1 million a year, a move Reid said was aimed at making the new proposal more palatable to Republicans.  The revised measure is expected to cost less, about $180 billion compared with the $265 billion bill voted down last week.

But on the Senate floor, Republican Jon Kyl suggested that ongoing payroll tax cuts are not very helpful to the economy. "It can be argued that this is very bad economic policy.  There is no evidence that this temporary tax cut has actually produced any new jobs, which is the whole idea," he said.

President Obama's remarks on Monday echoed a message he has tried to send during recent trips across the country, combining campaigning for next year's general elections with promotion of his economic policies.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says a speech Mr. Obama will deliver on Tuesday in the Midwestern state of Kansas will be an effort to frame the national debate over the economy. "The president's speech will encapsulate the debates that we have been having this year over our economic policy and over our economic future," he said.

In 1910, President Theodore Roosevelt used a Kansas speech to call for more income equality and equal opportunity, and said the federal government had an obligation to play a major role in guaranteeing social justice.

The White House says Mr. Obama will speak about a "make-or-break moment" for the U.S. middle class and all of those working to join it, and emphasize the importance of shared sacrifice in efforts to repair the nation's economy.

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

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.
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