Obama promotes tax agenda, US Congress in stand-off

Nov 28 2012, 13:37 IST
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Republicans want to extend low tax rates - enacted a decade ago under the administration of former Republican President George W. Bush. (Reuters) Republicans want to extend low tax rates - enacted a decade ago under the administration of former Republican President George W. Bush. (Reuters)
SummaryRepublicans want to extend low tax rates - enacted a decade ago under the administration of former Republican President George W. Bush.

2013.

Fiscal cliff headlines could have the biggest impact on the market, he said. Over the coming weeks, we expect many headlines that will raise and then dash investors' hopes ... The next three weeks could be a bumpy ride.

Fresh from his Nov. 6 re-election, Obama was set to hold another meeting with business executives from larger companies on Wednesday and then to travel to a toy factory in Pennsylvania on Friday to press his case on taxes.

Chief executives from Goldman Sachs, Deloitte LLP, Caterpillar Inc, Yahoo Inc, and Comcast Corp were among the group of leaders set to meet with the president, the White House said.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell ripped into Obama for planning to take his agenda on the road. Rather than sitting down with lawmakers of both parties and working out an agreement, he's back out on the campaign trail, McConnell roared on the Senate floor.

We already know the president is a very good campaigner. What we don't know is whether he has the leadership qualities necessary to lead his party to a bipartisan agreement.

Obama last met with congressional leaders on Nov. 16. A follow-up session was not expected this week, but could come next week, congressional aides said.

In the interim, little progress was made over the holidays in meetings between the staffs of the White House and Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, aides said.

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Ron Bonjean, a former aide to Republican leaders in the House and Senate, said leaders were still checking with their rank-and-file members to gauge what concessions they might be able to stomach. In a week or so, Bonjean said, the level of intensity will go up with more meetings.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said he was disappointed there has been little progress on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff and warned that we only have a couple weeks to get something done.

Despite frustration, Reid said he was optimistic lawmakers would avoid plunging off the cliff, a convergence of an estimated $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts. I'm extremely hopeful, and I do not believe that the Republicans are going to allow us to go over the cliff, he said.

While Republicans have not shifted from their opposition to tax rate increases, a few have publicly disavowed a no-new-taxes pledge to which most of them have adhered for years, putting tax revenues,

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