Positions harden on eve of US ‘fiscal cliff’ talks
Democrats and Republicans dug in on their long-held opposing positions on the eve of the talks, with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell warning, “What we won’t do is raise tax rates.”
But raising income taxes on the wealthy to help shrink the deficit was exactly what Obama highlighted during his first post-election news conference on Wednesday. Twenty-four hours later, Obama spokesman Jay Carney argued that public sentiment was firmly behind the newly re-elected president.
Obama “will not sign, under any circumstances, an extension of tax cuts for the top 2% of American earners,” Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to New York to survey recent devastating storm damage.
Later on Thursday, Republican Dave Camp, the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee of the US House of Representatives, said his panel will move to overhaul the US tax code next year.
The panel “will write, act on and pass comprehensive tax reform legislation in 2013,” Camp said in the text of a speech to be delivered in the evening. “We intend to move a comprehensive tax reform bill in 2013 — no matter what.”
McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi are scheduled to talk with him for about an hour at
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