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Tuesday
Nov302010

Obama, Republicans Say White House Bipartisan Summit 'Productive'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama and Republican leaders hailed Tuesday's White House bipartisan summit as productive and a positive step forward. But no firm agreement was reached on extending tax cuts for Americans or ratifying the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the top two items on the agenda.

Obama announced that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jacob Lew would work with representatives from each party to come up with a solution on extending the tax cuts.

Republicans support extending Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, while the president and Democrats, citing the burden on the deficit of across-the-board tax cuts, say that extension should not apply to the wealthy.

The GOP leadership also hailed the meeting as a positive one, but questions remain as to whether it will translate into concrete steps moving forward.

"We had a very nice meeting today," said incoming House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "The question is, can we find the common ground that the American people expect us to find?" Tax cuts and ratification of the START treaty topped the agenda at the bipartisan summit, the first such meeting since Democrats lost the House and several seats in the Senate in the midterm elections.

The president said he also called on lawmakers to extend unemployment benefits that expired Tuesday, and the attendees also discussed tax credits for college tuition, tax breaks for working families and a tax cut for businesses that hire unemployed workers. 

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