Obama pushes Congress on fiscal cliff deal

Obama pushes Congress on fiscal cliff deal

Washington : DC : USA | Dec 01, 2012 at 4:07 AM PST
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President Barack Obama visited a toy factory to gather support on his middle class tax-cut proposal and to pressurize House Republicans to approval his strategy of avoiding a fiscal cliff.

As the clock ticks away, the year-end fiscal crunch has put both Democrats and Republicans under immense pressure. While House speaker, John Boehner believes Obama’s proposal to deal with the so-called cliff has resulted in a ‘stalemate’ over further talks, the president tells a Pennsylvania toy factory, The Rodon Group, that the GOP wanted to offer Americans ‘ a lump of coal’ for Christmas.

"We talked about this a lot... We had debates about it. There were a lot of TV commercials about it," Obama said. “At the end of the day, a clear majority of Americans -- Democrats, Republicans, independents -- they agreed with a balanced approach to deficit reduction and making sure that middle-class taxes don't go up.”

However, Boehner insists that raising taxes on the rich is the wrong approach and without a compromise by both sides, the fiscal cliff cannot be avoided. “When I come out the day after the election and make it clear that Republicans will put revenue on the table, I took a great risk,” Boehner claimed, adding of the White House plan, “It's not a serious proposal and so right now we're almost nowhere.”

According to the non-partisan tax policy, that is due to expire by Jan. 1, 90 percent of the Americans would be required to pay more in taxes while the middle income families would experience $2000 raise in their annul taxes.

This was Obama’s first speech since Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented the proposal to the House Republicans yesterday. The proposal included $1.6 trillion in tax increases, $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and other programs, and ending Congress' control of the debt limit.

Keeping frustration out of his tone, Obama joked that he has his own list of nice and naughty in Congress referring to those who are showing rigidity towards his proposal. “You should keep your eye on who gets K'NEX this year. There are going to be some members of Congress who get them, and some who don't." Obama said at a Rodon Group plant that makes the popular K'nex brand of toys.

Some Republican lawmakers have shown flexibility over Obama’s proposal as long as the increased taxes on the rich are accompanied by significant spending cuts. The president believes that even with a few Republicans on board, the bill can be passed.

Wendy Zachary is based in Texas, Texas, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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