Entries in Proposal (18)


California Lawmaker Proposes Marriage on Assembly Floor

Sacramento Bee/Zuma(WATSONVILLE, Calif.) -- A California lawmaker used the floor of the state assembly this week not to propose legislation but to propose marriage instead to his girlfriend of seven years.

Assemblyman Luis Alejo, 38, a Democrat from Watsonville, Calif. was at Sacramento’s capital building on Monday for the presentation of awards to Latino leaders from the state.

Since it was his seventh anniversary seeing Karina Cervantez, 32, he had invited her to sit with him in the assembly hall for the ceremony, saying that he would introduce her to his colleagues.

He began Cervantez’s introduction by saying that she was completing her doctoral degree in social psychology at University of California Santa Cruz.  Then he took a personal turn. Alejo described Cervantez as the love of his life, best friend and smartest person he knows. And Cervantez knew this was no typical introduction.

“There was a little bit of panic in my face,” she told ABC News. “I was thinking, ‘Wow, this is really happening.’”

Sure enough, Alejo popped the question.

“It was a complete surprise,” Cervantez said. “I said yes right away, but I said yes very quietly just to him. And then he got on the microphone and announced it.”

“I became the happiest man alive when she said yes,” Alejo told ABC News.

He said he had been brainstorming how to pop the question for weeks when the perfect plan dawned on him.

“When you propose to the love of your life, it should be done at a special place and should only be done once in your lifetime,” he said. “Over the past few months, I was thinking where to have this special occasion take place to make it memorable and unforgettable. I decided there was not a better place than the floor of the state assembly.”

Alejo and Cervantez both come from migrant worker families, so he thought the location would be symbolic of their successes.

“For us, it’s like a dream come true just to be serving in this capacity at the state capital,” he said.

Alejo called Cervantez’s parents on Sunday night to ask for their blessing and they gave it to him -- sort of.

“They said, ‘That’s not for us to decide. Our daughter will decide. Call us back and let us know what she says,’” Alejo recalled with a laugh.

He wanted to keep his plans secret but checked with assembly officials to see if it would be alright.  He asked his seatmate, Assemblyman Bill Monning of Carmel, Calif., to hide the ring and hand it to him when the time came.

“I proposed to her at my desk on the floor. What a wonderful place, in front of all my colleagues and my mother who was there. There was no shortage of witnesses,” Alejo said. “I wanted to make it unforgettable and we certainly achieved that yesterday.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney's Tax Proposal Targets Higher Income Earners

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- New details of Mitt Romney's plan to offset his proposed 20 percent across-the-board income tax cuts show that the loopholes he plans to eliminate would have the greatest impact on mid-to-high-income Americans.

The presumptive GOP nominee, who has been critcized for planning to add a car elevator to his already $14 million vacation home, told supporters at a closed-door fundraiser on Sunday that he would "probably eliminate" the tax deduction for mortgage interest on a second home for "high-income people," a deduction that already primarily benefits people earning more than $100,000.

The most recent data available shows that in 2009, the majority -- 70 percent -- of the tax break for mortgage income on both first and second homes went to people earning more than $100,000 per year, according to a Congressional Research Service tax expenditures report.

"I'm going to limit certain deductions and exemptions for high income individuals so that even as we lower the rates for all Americans we're not going to shift the burden from -- middle income people to higher income people," Romney said on Monday, in response to questions about the earlier remarks in an exclusive interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer.

Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, said eliminating the tax break will raise taxes primarily on upper middle class families, those earning between $100,000 and $200,000.  But it would have little effect on the very wealthy, Williams said, because "really wealthy" people are more likely to pay for more of their homes outright, rather than take out a large mortgage.

"You're trying to figure out ways to pare back deductions without hitting people who really need them," Williams said.  "The second home limit would be the same kind of thing that goes after people well enough off to have a second place."

And while the mortgage interest deduction is one of the largest deductions in the tax code -- costing the government about $94 billion in 2011 -- eliminating the tax break only for second homes is unlikely to bring in much revenue, Williams said.

"Relatively few people own these," he said, noting that an exact dollar estimate is not available because "we just don't really know" how many homeowners would be affected.

Romney floated the proposal in a speech at a closed-door fundraiser on Sunday, which was overheard and reported by NBC and Wall Street Journal reporters on the sidewalk outside the Palm Beach, Fla., event.

He also said he plans to cut the tax deduction for property taxes and state income tax, as well as reduce the size of the Department of Education and eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

But on Monday, Romney backed away from those proposals, painting them as options, not hard-and-fast policies.

"I'm not proposing any eliminations at this point," Romney told Sawyer, adding that he will first have to "do a great deal of analysis to see which agencies could be combined."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama’s Corporate Tax Reform Proposal Coming Wednesday

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- Senior administration officials said that on Wednesday the Obama administration will put forth its proposal for corporate tax reform.

The announcement will come from the Treasury Department.

When pressed for details, administration officials pointed reporters to President Obama’s comments about tax reform during the State of the Union address.

The president in his speech last month decried how “right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it. So let’s change it.”

His basic three rules were, in his words:

1. “First, if you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it. That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies like Master Lock that decide to bring jobs home."

2. “Second, no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas. From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax. And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here in America."

3. “Third, if you’re an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut. If you’re a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making your products here. And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help financing a new plant, equipment, or training for new workers.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Boehner to Present GOP’s Alternative Strategy for Job Creation

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As President Obama continues to drum up support for his $447 billion jobs plan, House Speaker John Boehner will deliver an alternative path for job creation in an address to the Economic Club of Washington Thursday, focusing chiefly on tax reform by broadening the base of the tax structure without raising taxes and continuing the GOP’s quest to cut red tape from Washington’s bureaucracy.

According to a senior aide to the speaker, Boehner will push to enact the GOP’s Plan for America’s Job Creators by “streamlining and reforming a burdensome tax code, stopping harmful regulations, and cutting Washington spending,” which Boehner will say “have combined to create a toxic environment for job creation that has rattled confidence and prevented job creators from hiring new workers.”

Boehner will add that although there is some common ground between his vision for job creation and the president’s bill known as the American Jobs Act, the speaker will continue to push for Republican alternatives to be part of a jobs bill because Obama’s plan is “no substitute for the pro-growth policies needed to remove barriers to job creation in America.”

The House is not expected to bring Obama’s bill in its full legislative language to the floor for a clean vote, but sources indicate that aspects of the president’s proposal will work through the committee process and pieces of his plan will eventually come to the floor for consideration.

The speaker is also expected to explain his belief that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction “should advance fundamental tax reform to support private investment and job creation, and address the structural problems in our entitlement programs that have put our country in danger of more job-destroying downgrades.”

Earlier this week, Boehner told reporters that the 12-member deficit reduction panel should aim high as it works to identify at least $1.5 trillion in savings over the next 10 years.

“We should tackle as much of our debt problem as is possible.  As you all know, I spent months working with the president trying to do the big deal [during the debt limit debate], and I always believed that it’d be easier to get the votes if, in fact, we got a big deal,” Boehner said on Tuesday.  “The debt that hangs over our economy, the debt that hangs over our society, is a serious impediment for our country, and so the bigger the job of the debt committee, the more that they’re able to do, frankly I think is very helpful for our country.”

On Thursday, Boehner will also attempt to establish the ground rules for Republicans participating in the talks, pressing the committee to agree on significant reforms without raising taxes.

“He will note that tax reform should include closing loopholes -- but tax increases, which Boehner believes would destroy jobs, are not a viable option for the Joint Select Committee,” the aide wrote in an email.  “He will make the case that by working together to liberate our economy from excessive regulation, higher taxes and out-of-control spending, rather than focusing on short-term gimmicks that could worsen the environment for job creation, the two parties can provide certainty to job creators and lay the foundation for long-term economic growth in America.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama’s Jobs Campaign Heads to North Carolina

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will take his jobs pitch to North Carolina Wednesday where he will highlight the ways the American Jobs Act would benefit small businesses and once again urge Congress to pass the legislation.

Obama’s speech Wednesday afternoon in Raleigh-Durham will be his fifth address on jobs in just seven days, and his third in a key battleground state.  Obama visited Ohio on Tuesday and Virginia last Friday.

The president’s first stop will be in Apex, where he will tour WestStar Precision, a small business the White House says will benefit from the American Jobs Act.

Obama will then deliver remarks on his jobs plan at North Carolina State University, “emphasizing the need for Congress to pass it now and put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of working Americans, while not adding a dime to the deficit,” according to the White House.

After returning to Washington, the first couple will attend the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Annual Awards Gala Wednesday evening.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


McConnell on Obama’s Jobs Plan: 'Hodgepodge of Retread Ideas'

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Declaring President Obama’s jobs plan all but dead on arrival on Capitol Hill, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that the details show the president’s plan is just a “a hodgepodge of retread ideas” that he’s “daring Republicans to vote against.”

After his initial first look at the bill, McConnell’s harsh criticism of the jobs plan on the Senate floor Tuesday were his first public comments since the president sent his bill to Congress on Monday.

“It’s now obvious why the president left out the specifics last week,” McConnell said.  “Not only does it reveal the political nature of this bill, it also reinforces the growing perception that this administration isn’t all that interested in economic policies that will actually work.”

McConnell said the president’s call to immediate action is “clearly little more than rhetorical flourish,” and that the jobs speech and subsequent bill was largely a “political exercise” as the bill faces a very tough road ahead in Congress among Republicans but also Democrats as well.

“The president knows raising taxes is the last thing you want to do to spur job creation.  He said so himself.  Yet that’s basically all he’s proposing here, temporary stimulus to be paid for later by permanent tax hikes so that when the dust clears and the economy is no better off than it was after the first stimulus, folks find themselves with an even bigger tax bill than today.”

Put simply, McConnell concluded, this plan is “not serious” and is “more of a re-election plan than a jobs plan.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


RNC Head: Not Dismissing Obama Jobs Plan 'Out of Hand’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Tuesday that his party was not dismissing “out of hand” President Obama’s new jobs plan, but added that the administration’s all-or-nothing approach to pushing it through Congress would not fly.

“I don’t think we’re dismissing it out of hand.  There are parts of it we need to take a look at,” Priebus said on a conference call with reporters.

“On the whole though, there is nothing new about his speech.  There was no great panacea here that we had to be teased for for three weeks while the president vacationed and hung out with the rich and famous on Martha’s Vineyard,” he said.  “It was more of the same -- a little less than the first stimulus bill, repackaged and sold.”

Priebus and other Republican lawmakers have signaled that they could support some of the tax cuts and tax credits included in Obama’s job growth proposal.  But many Republicans oppose proposed tax increases -- particularly those on Americans making more than $200,000 a year, or $250,000 a year per household -- to pay for it.

“Bipartisanship is a two-way street,” Priebus said, seeking to cast Obama and Democrats as uncompromising .

“When you look at what [Obama campaign strategist] David Axelrod said this morning on television, he told the entire country, ‘Look, there isn’t going to be any compromise.  It’s all or nothing.’  So, if there are things we agree on, according to David Axelrod, we have to agree on everything otherwise there isn’t going to be a deal, according to his comments this morning,” Priebus said.

On ABC's Good Morning America Tuesday, Axelrod said, “We are not in negotiation to break up the package.  And it’s not an a la carte menu.”

Later, however, White House economic adviser Gene Sperling told reporters in Washington that the president was open to piecemeal passage of some elements of his plan, even though he prefers the entire package as a whole.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Boehner Has ‘Different Approach’ to Job Creation than Democrats

TOBY JORRIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Tuesday that Republicans have a “different approach” to job creation than the $447 billion proposal President Obama pitched to Congress last week, explaining that the GOP would not support paying for temporary relief through permanent tax increases.

“As a former small businessman myself, I can tell you that we’ve got a little different approach to creating jobs than our friends across the aisle,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said.  “When you look at what we saw in the president’s pay-for’s [Monday], we see permanent tax increases put into effect in order to pay for temporary spending.  I just don’t think that’s really going to help our economy the way it could.”

Boehner added that drawing from his meetings with constituents and entrepreneurs during the August recess, he believed there’s a growing concern among Americans about the stagnant state of the economy.

“While there’s a lot of uncertainty out there, what I’ve seen over the last six straight weeks is a lot of that uncertainty is turning to certainty and the certainty is resulting in fear.  Fear that the economy isn’t coming back anytime soon,” Boehner warned.  “All of the efforts that the administration tried when they had total control of the House and the Senate and the White House, they have not worked.  And as we get into this conversation with the president about we help our economy, I hope he’ll listen to our ideas, and I hope that he’ll work with us to find common ground to get our economy moving and create jobs again.”

Boehner said he talked to “thousands” of people and employers throughout the August recess, and “what the American employers want is they want some certainty about what’s happening in Washington.”

“Certainty about what tax rates are going to be, certainty about what their health care commitments are going to be, and certainty about the regulatory onslaught that they’re under,” Boehner said.  “These are the kinds of things that need to be addressed if we’re going to create the kind of environment where employers will feel comfortable in adding more employees to their companies.”

Boehner said that before deciding how to move on the president’s legislation, he is awaiting the Congressional Budget Office’s score of the 155-page bill known as the “American Jobs Act.”  But, in the meantime, the speaker said he expected the bill to begin moving through committees as Republicans continue pushing their own agenda on the House floor.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Takes His Jobs Pitch to Ohio

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will continue selling his $447 billion jobs bill to the American people Tuesday with a visit to Columbus, Ohio, where he will highlight his proposals to rebuild and modernize schools.

The president’s trip to House Speaker John Boehner’s home state carries political implications as well.  Tuesday’s visit to the swing state comes four days after Obama visited House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s district in Richmond, Va.

“You’re absolutely right.  It is a campaign.  The president is campaigning for growth and jobs,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Monday.  “And he’s campaigning to have the American Jobs Act passed.”

In Columbus, Obama will tour the Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School, where he will emphasize his proposal to invest $25 billion in school infrastructure to modernize at least 35,000 public schools.

“This money would fund a range of critical repairs and needed renovation projects that would put hundreds of thousands of Americans -- construction workers, engineers, maintenance staff, boiler repair and electrical workers -- back to work,” according to the White House.

The president’s plan also includes an additional $5 billion investment in modernizing community colleges.

The president heads to the battleground state of North Carolina on Wednesday to pitch his jobs plan in Raleigh-Durham.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Romney Promises 11.5 Million Jobs: Could He Really Deliver?

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama Thursday night urged Congress to pass a plan that some analysts say will put 1.9 million Americans to work in the next year.  But two days earlier, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced a plan that he says will create nearly 10 times as many jobs.

Romney, who detailed his jobs agenda in a 161-page book, said in a Las Vegas speech unveiling the plan that if elected, he would push his plan to create 11.5 million jobs in his first term, dropping unemployment to less than 6 percent and boosting gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 4 percent annually.

But while most economists agree that Romney’s plan does include some job-creating initiatives, whether his proposals will add up to 11.5 million jobs is a bit hazy.

“It is unclear what that 11.5 million number came from,” said John Irons, research and policy director for the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank.

Irons said 11.5 million jobs, or about 240,000 per month, is a “fairly modest target” because most economists would expect about 300,000 to 350,000 jobs to be created per month when the economy is coming out of a recession.

“If that’s his target, I don’t think it’s ambitious enough,” Irons said.  “It is a little bit notable, but that’s not that many over four years.  That’s the kind of job creation you would expect to see as a status quo.”

Romney’s proposed GDP growth is about half a percent higher than the 3.6 percent growth that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects under current law for the same four-year time frame.

But on unemployment, Romney suggests his plan will outpace current CBO predictions by 2 percent.

“It’s a practical plan to get America back to work.  It’s also immediate,” Romney said of his plan.  “This isn’t something that’s going to take years to put into place.”

The former GOP front-runner’s plan includes five executive orders he would sign on his first day in office and five bills he would immediately send to Congress.

One bill would lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent -- the second highest rate in the world -- to 25 percent.  William McBride, an economist at the Tax Foundation, said the lower rate would reduce unemployment by about 0.5 percent, adding about 1 million jobs in a year.

But while dropping the rate by 10 percent would stop U.S. businesses from relocating overseas, it would not lead to a large number of companies relocating to U.S. soil because the average rate of America’s trade partners is around 25 percent as well, he said.

“This ultimately isn’t so radical.  It’s just moving us toward the average,” McBride said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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