Entries in Tax Bill (6)


Obama Continues to Push Both Parties to Pass Bipartisan Tax Bill in Weekly Address

Photo Courtesy - Pete Souza/The White House(WASHINGTON) -- In his weekly address President Obama urges members of both parties to pass the compromise tax plan, saying that American people should not suffer by being caught in the “political crossfire” of Washington.

“People want us to find solutions, not score points. And I will not allow middle class families to be treated like pawns on a chessboard.”

The president launches into a strong defense, as he has all week,  of his decisions to work out a framework on tax cuts with the Republicans -- directed at those in his party who are unhappy with the deal cut.

“I recognize that many of my friends in my own party are uncomfortable with some of what’s in this agreement, in particular the temporary tax cuts for the wealthy,” Obama says, “And I share their concerns."

He casts the alternative in terms of what the president said that the nation will suffer if the deal doesn’t get passed.

“The opportunity for families to send their kids to college hinges on this debate.  The ability of parents to put food on the table while looking for a job depends on this debate.  And our recovery will be strengthened or weakened based on the choice that now rests with Congress.”

The president concludes by “strongly” urging members of both parties to pass the plan.

“I’m confident that they will do the right thing, strengthening the middle class and our economic recovery.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Working Overtime: Sanders' Senate Floor Rant Runs Over Eight Hours

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., protested the tax bill on the Senate floor for more than eight hours Friday. As Friday afternoon drifted into Friday evening drifted into Friday night, Sanders was still as passionate as he had been Friday morning. He finally yielded the floor about at 7pm eastern time.

Sanders denounced the tax bill as “a bad deal for the American people” and promised to “take a strong stand” against it. His main concern is that the deal will extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans at great costs to the nation’s already-soaring deficit.

“How can I get by on one house?” Sanders said. “I need five houses, 10 houses! I need three jet planes to take me all over the world! Sorry, American people. We've got the money, we've got the power, we've got the lobbyists here and on Wall Street. Tough luck. That's the world, get used to it. Rich get richer. Middle class shrinks.”

Sanders said his office has received over 5,000 calls and emails against the tax bill agreement.

“Vote against this agreement because it is driving up the national debt and it is doing so by giving tax breaks to millionaires that don’t really need them,” he implored his fellow senators.

Sen. Harry Reid announced Thursday night the first procedural vote on the bill will take place on Monday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Bill Clinton Stumps for President Obama-GOP Tax Cut Deal

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama Friday brought out former president and Democratic heavyweight Bill Clinton for an impromptu press conference to tout his tax cut deal with Republicans that has earned the ire of many liberal Democrats.

"The agreement, taken as a whole, is, I believe, the best bipartisan agreement we can reach to help the largest number of Americans and to maximize the chances that the economic recovery will accelerate and create more jobs and to minimize the chances that it will slip back, which is what has happened in other financial collapses," Clinton said.

The former president was at the White House for a meeting with Obama. The president said he had a "terrific meeting" with Clinton, who he introduced as the president who "presided over as good of an economy as we've seen in our lifetime."

The last time the White House called on the former president for help was earlier this year, when Clinton visited Democratic lawmakers to stump for the health care bill.

In the briefing room Friday, a seemingly comfortable Clinton pushed dubious Democrats to support the president.

"In my opinion, this is a good bill and I hope that my fellow Democrats will support it. I thank the Republican leaders for agreeing to include things that were important to the president," he said. "There's never a perfect bipartisan bill in the eyes of the partisans, and we all see this differently, but I really believe this will be a significant net plus for the country."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Reid Unveils Senate Version of Tax Bill & Sets First Procedural Vote for Monday

Photo Courtesy - Reid dot Senate dot gov(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday night unveiled the Senate’s version of the tax bill and said the first procedural vote on the measure will take place Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. EST.
No sooner had Reid made the announcement than Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who has vowed to filibuster the bill, immediately voiced his opposition.
“It is in my view a bad deal and I think we could do a lot better,” Sanders said.
Despite Sanders’ stance -- and opposition from numerous Democrats and a handful of Republicans -- the bill is expected to emerge from the Senate. It faces far more serious opposition in the lower chamber of Congress, where House Democrats on Thursday vowed to block the deal hatched by President Obama and congressional Republicans.
In a paper statement Thursday night, Reid said, “Middle-class families and small businesses in Nevada and across the nation are hurting. They need relief, starting with a tax cut. But Republicans are so committed to giving more tax breaks to millionaires and CEOs, they are willing to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage to get them.”
“The time for Republican political games is over,” Reid concluded. “We must pass this measure before Congress adjourns.”
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Reid Says Senate Action On Tax Bill Could Come Within Days; McConnell Says Now Would Be Better

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday said he hopes to start Senate floor debate on the tax cut compromise bill in the coming days.

“I hope that can be in the next day or two that we can be on that,” Reid told reporters Wednesday afternoon on Capitol Hill.

Before that happens, though, senators will have to finish working on the final legislative language for the bill that they will ultimately take up.

“There’s some things, I think, that would make the bill much better and we’re going to work on those,” Reid said.

The Senate’s top Republican Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, urged Democrats to get behind the bill and bring it to the floor as soon as possible.

“We’ve reached a bipartisan agreement. It’s time Democrats in Congress reach a similar conclusion and enable us to act for the good of the whole country. Americans are counting on us. They’ve waited long enough,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

But before any tax bill comes to the floor, the Senate on Wednesday night was planning to hold procedural votes on a slew of other issues including the military’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy and the DREAM Act, to name a few. At the moment, Reid is locked in discussions with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to try to formulate an agreement on an amendment process that would secure enough GOP votes to get Democrats the 60 they need to move forward with the "don’t ask, don’t tell" repeal. Reid said he is prepared to offer 15 amendments on the bill, with 10 coming from Republicans. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Leading House Democrat: Tax Bill Won’t Extend Cuts for ‘Very Top’

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Even as the White House mulls a compromise that would temporarily extend all of the expiring Bush tax cuts, leading Democrats on Capitol Hill are pushing back, urging President Obama to keep his pledge to allow tax cuts for higher-income Americans to expire.

In an ABC News interview Tuesday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who holds the leadership post of assistant to the House speaker for policy, said the tax bill Democrats will bring to the House floor next month “will not include tax breaks for the folks at the very top.”

“I'm going to vote in favor of the bill that we're gonna have in front of the make sure that we provide middle-class tax relief,” said Van Hollen, D-Md. “It will not include tax breaks for the folks at the very top.”

Van Hollen said that Democrats -- who maintain control of the House through the end of the year, including during the lame-duck session at which the expiring tax cuts will be considered -- continue to back the president’s commitment to allow tax cuts for couples making more than $250,000 a year to come to an end.

“I think the position of the great majority in the House of Representatives is the position the president took going into the election,” he said. “We need to make sure, No. 1, that the middle class has tax relief -- that 98 percent of the American people continue to have that tax relief, we don't want to see their taxes going up.”

“At the same time, we don't want to add $700 billion to our deficit by providing tax breaks for the folks at the very top, when we know, No. 1, that that does not contributed to job creation -- in fact, we know the end of that movie. And No. 2, the notion that these are somehow the small businesses has been shown to be untrue…”

“So let's get the deficit under control,” Van Hollen added. “We're gonna have a vote on that in the House when we get back. We'll have to see what the Senate does after that.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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