News / USA

US Senators Say Temporary Tax Cut Extension Likely

Senator Jon Kyl
Senator Jon Kyl
Michael Bowman

U.S. senators of both parties say a compromise on federal taxes is likely to preserve lower rates for all income levels and allow for consideration of other measures, such as extending federal benefits for the unemployed.  The comments come one day after Senate Republicans successfully blocked consideration of two Democratic proposals that would have allowed tax cuts to continue for all but the wealthiest Americans.

The tax debate comes at a time of sluggish U.S. economic growth and large federal budget deficits.  At issue: should broad tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration continue for all income levels, or only for the middle class?

Republican Senator John Kyl of Arizona opposes any tax hikes. "Especially in an economic downturn, like we are in now, it is not a good idea to raise people's taxes.  They key here is to put people back to work, to get economic growth going again.  We are never going to get out of the deficit we have, unless we have economic growth," he said.

Kyl spoke on the CBS program Face The Nation.  

Also appearing on the program was Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, who accused Republicans of preventing congressional action on extending jobless benefits while demanding tax breaks for millionaires.

"The notion that we would give tax cuts to those making over $1 million a year, which is the Republican position, and then turn our backs on two-million Americans who will lose unemployment benefits before Christmas, is unconscionable," he said.

Republicans have pledged to use procedural motions to block Senate consideration of all legislation so long as the tax issue remains unresolved.  President Barack Obama has urged members of both parties to negotiate a compromise on taxes and other matters.  Without action, all Bush-era tax cuts on all income levels will expire at the end of the year.

Appearing on NBC's Meet The Press program, the Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, sounded optimistic that a bipartisan deal will be struck. "I think the American people expect us to work together to make sure their taxes do not go up. And we are working on that package, and I think we are going to get there," he said.

McConnell would not discuss details of a possible compromise, but negotiations are widely reported to be focusing on preserving all tax cuts for another year or two and an extension of unemployment benefits.

Senator Durbin says he will oppose any deal that falls short of that basic framework. "I am not voting for any permanent tax cut for people at the highest income categories," he said.

Budget experts say, in the long run, significant sacrifice from all Americans will be required to eliminate the nation's trillion-dollar federal deficit.  Most economists believe some combination of spending cuts and tax increases is needed.  

A presidential deficit commission has issued recommendations that would put the deficit on a downward trajectory during the coming decade, but many of the provisions are thought to be politically unpalatable.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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 Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid