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Oct 12, 2012

Obama firm on Bush tax expiry, despite Biden remarks

WASHINGTON, Oct 12 (Reuters) – The Obama administration said
on Friday it has not changed its stance on letting tax rates
rise at year-end for high-income Americans, despite comments
from Vice President Joe Biden in Thursday night’s debate that
seemed to suggest a shift.

“Our position on the Bush tax cuts has not changed,” White
House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Friday, referring
to the expiration in 2013 of tax cuts enacted a decade ago under
Republican President George W. Bush.

Oct 12, 2012

Biden indicates shift to $1 mln threshold for 2013 tax increases

WASHINGTON, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Did Vice-President Joe Biden
shift on the Obama administration’s tax increase plan for the
wealthy?

And if he did, was it a signal that Democrats are offering
to strike a quick deal with Republicans on one of the most
difficult year-end fiscal decisions Washington faces?

Oct 11, 2012

Analysis: Lame hopes for a lame-duck Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Capitol is nearly empty, President Barack Obama is spending most of his time away from the White House in a final push for re-election and top American CEOs are getting nervous.

Unlike the typical election year, however, Congress faces a December 31 deadline for coming up with some sort of substitute for the dreaded “fiscal cliff” – about $500 billion worth of tax increases and $109 billion in government spending cuts due to start on January 2.

Sep 30, 2012

U.S. group urges $2 trillion alternative to fiscal cliff “time bomb”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The independent watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense will unveil a $2 trillion deficit-reduction proposal in hopes of averting an economic debacle at year’s end known as the fiscal cliff.

On Monday, the group plans to detail about 130 specific deficit-reduction steps the U.S. Congress could take to replace across-the-board spending cuts of $1.2 trillion that are scheduled to take effect on January 2. These would occur just as tax increases for all income groups are due to kick in.

Sep 19, 2012

Romney remarks draw Republican support and concern

WASHINGTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – A third Republican U.S.
Senate candidate on Wednesday rejected Mitt Romney’s
characterization of nearly half the country as slackers, but
other party lawmakers voiced support for their struggling
presidential nominee.

Republican members of Congress said Romney was making a
valid point, though not artfully stated, when he said that 47
percent of Americans pay no federal income tax and feel entitled
to federal assistance.

Sep 11, 2012

Congress leaders differ on ‘fiscal cliff’ prospects

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Republican in the U.S. Congress said on Tuesday he had no confidence a divided Washington could avoid a “fiscal cliff” that threatens to push the nation into a recession, but the top Democrat voiced optimism there would be a deal.

“I’m not confident at all,” House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said, accusing President Barack Obama of failing to provide needed leadership.

Sep 6, 2012

Senate Democrat sees path to deal on deficit by mid-2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. Senate Democrat sketched out a broad-brush idea on Thursday that would give Congress six months beyond year’s end to come up with a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan, potentially softening the impact of a looming “fiscal cliff.”

The idea by assistant Democratic Senate leader Dick Durbin has not been developed into a formal plan, a spokesman said. Financial markets and government economists are worried that failure to compromise on tax and spending issues could bring on a recession.

Aug 1, 2012

Stop-gap spending, tax deals hint at year-end ploy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A pair of deals struck this week by influential lawmakers, combined with a new pragmatism among Tea Party conservatives, provides clues how the “fiscal cliff” could be avoided by extending all current budget and tax policies until the new president and Congress take office in January.

In sharp contrast to the budget wars they waged last year, Tea Party activists in Congress are so far going along with the script that is now developing.

Aug 1, 2012

Congress, White House move to deal with fiscal threats

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington took some tentative steps toward confronting its looming fiscal threats on Tuesday with a deal in Congress to neutralize the risk of a government shutdown that could upset voters ahead of the November 6 elections.

The White House said it would shield U.S. military pay from automatic budget cuts due to take effect in January — a move that could shift more of the reductions onto defense contractors. It also instructed agencies to begin preparing for some across-the-board cuts.

Jul 31, 2012

White House prepping for budget cuts, to shield military pay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Tuesday it was starting to get ready for potentially painful year-end spending cuts, and was committed to shielding U.S. military pay from any government budget crunch.

Jeffrey Zients, acting director of President Barack Obama’s Office of Management and Budget, said discussions would start soon on how to weather the looming automatic spending cuts, known as “sequestration,” that would take place starting January 2 if Congress cannot achieve a deficit reduction deal.

    • About Richard

      "I have been a Washington correspondent for Reuters since 2001. I have written about climate change and the environment, the U.S. Congress, politics, economic issues and agricultural trade disputes."
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