Obama presents Dem leaders with proposed tax deal
December 6th, 2010
05:11 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama presents Dem leaders with proposed tax deal

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama presented congressional Democratic leaders Monday with a proposed deal with Republicans that would extend Bush-era tax cuts for two years and unemployment benefits for 13 months while also setting the estate tax at 35% for two years on inheritances worth more than $5 million, a senior Democratic source told CNN.

The deal also includes a temporary 2% reduction in the payroll tax to replace Obama's "making work pay" tax credit from the 2009 economic stimulus package for lower-income Americans, the senior Democratic source said. As currently crafted, the deal would prohibit amendments by either party, according to the source, who spoke on condition of not being identified by name.

House Democrats, who passed a measure extending the Bush-era tax cuts for income up to $250,000 a year, indicated earlier Monday they were unhappy with the negotiations that the White House was conducting with congressional Republicans.

"We won't rubber stamp a deal between the White House and (Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell," one Democratic congressional source told CNN. "We want to make it clear. Don't take our support for granted."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, were among Democratic leaders who attended a White House meeting with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss the proposed deal.

According to the senior Democratic source, Obama and Biden told the congressional Democrats that the proposed deal was the best they could expect.

Liberal House Democrats are believed to be among the most reluctant in Congress to agree to a deal extending all of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.

The House measure, which was blocked from consideration in the Senate by a Republican filibuster, would cause tax rates to increase to 1990s levels for individuals making more than $200,000 a year and families earning more than $250,000. Senate Republicans blocked a similar proposal that set the income threshold for higher tax rates at anything over $1 million.

Top senators from both parties had indicated Sunday that a deal linking the extension of lower tax rates for everyone with extended unemployment benefits was likely. Congress would continue working on a long-term plan to reduce the nation's debt.

Democrats contend the nation must prevent working-class Americans from facing higher taxes, as promised by Obama in his 2008 election campaign, but can't afford the extra hundreds of billions of dollars it would cost to maintain the tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans argue that the economy remains too weak to allow anyone's taxes to increase.

Earlier Monday, Obama reiterated his position that extending the cuts for the wealthiest Americans would be fiscally irresponsible, and stressed the opinion of Democratic leaders that an extension of unemployment benefits needs to be part of any agreement with the GOP.

"We have got to find consensus here because a middle-class tax hike would be very tough, not only on working families, it would also be a drag on our economy at this moment," Obama told an audience in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

"We've got to make sure that we are coming up with a solution even if it is not 100% of what I want or what the Republicans want."

CNN's Alan Silverleib, Tom Cohen, and Brianna Keilar contributed to this report


Filed under: Taxes
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Jeff Clemetson of San Diego

    Fairly obvious that the repubs are hoping to take the White House in 2012 and make these tax breaks permanent then. Well, Americans get the government they deserves and if they vote for the party that will drive the deficit into the stratosphere and pray that some war will make us rich again, then that is what we'll get. Repubs aren't stupid enough to actually cut Social Security or Medicare and they have too many friends in the war business to cut the DOD, so its going to be unpaid tax cuts, jobs overseas, more silly wars and less education, less environmental standards, less jobs as the green economy goes to one of those doomed socialist economies in Europe or Asia – but hey, the rich got their tax break so Joe Republican will have money for reelection. Yeah!

    December 6, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. Jay Timbertoni

    Obama is a Loser – and so am I for falling for his lies, and being a part of what got him elected – NO SECOND TERM for this CLOWN – time to look for a challenger & hey maybe we can actually choose one that's not part of the Council on Foreign Relations for once.

    December 6, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  3. more lies from HUSSENI obama

    obama you idiot, presenting taxe increases again, to bad you dont get it just like the rest of the idiots in your administration, I wish 2012 gets here sooner and We The People can get rid of you idiots.

    December 6, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. terry, va

    Oh baby !!! One more year to lay on the couch, go hunting and fishing when I want to. I'm sad that they didn't raise the taxes on the rich though. I might have gotten a raise on my unemployment check. What a country !!!

    December 6, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  5. George

    How's that "tea" working out for all those smart alec middle class folks who "decided" they were going to teach the Democrats a lesson and vote Republican this past November?

    December 6, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. rob

    A senior Democrat source said:
    "As currently crafted, the deal would prohibit amendments by either party, according to the source, who spoke on condition of not being identified by name."
    How can there be no amendments allowed when the proposal is from the Executive branch? Do they think they are the absolute power in Washingtom. The inheritance tax hike should be a non starter for the Republicans which means its a poisen pill designed to make the Republicans look bad by stamding on the principals they ran on in the huge election victory in Nov.

    More politics from the party of SORE LOSERS.

    December 6, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. carla

    i think the president is right because people need the money right now ...i would also bet that the unemployed thanks him because the cannot wait until this fight would be over it's not worth it....feed the people noone should go hungry in america because the senate wants to prove a point....why cannot politians remember it about the people and doing the right thing......at least the president gets it......god bless america......huh

    December 6, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  8. conehead

    The bush tax cuts have been in effect since the start of Bush's term. If the tax cuts were supposed to spur the economy and jobs, why is it that we have almost 10% unemployment. It's because corporations have found out they can get just the same amount of production, even after cutting a large part of their employees. The business's are in control and they will gladly keep their profits and do not have to increase employment. It's called greed.

    December 6, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  9. Steve

    The tea party is being awfully quiet about the Republican socialism that is about to take place on the backs of the middle class . I guess Boehner and McConnell are white and didn't have to show their birth certificates. That makes it okay for them to rip off the American people.
    How stupid the American voters seem to be.

    December 6, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. T'sah from Virginia

    This is going to be UGLY while we await for the DEVASTATING NEWS that President Obama is about to announce and the RepubliCAN'Ts WIN again!!!! They all POUTED and they SCREAMED and they got what they want!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They literally held UNEMPLOYMENT PAYMENTS HOSTAGE in order to "get what they want" for the RICH!!!!

    President Obama – I am like the woman who stated that she is "EXHAUSTED" defending YOU!!! Two years of campaigning – two years of contemplating – and here you go and fall prey to the "SNAKES IN THE GRASS"!!!

    Well, I hope the RICH are satisfied – I make 1/5 of a quarter of a million and had to GIVE UP 2% of that in order to keep my job ........ My 21 year old PAYS TAXES on his little job of making $21,000 a year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am PISSED OFF and even though I am supposed to still support our president – this makes it very difficult!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 6, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  11. Bachirq

    It looks like America is having another “Marriage Counsel”. President Obama being the mediator, between his party and the Republican Party. The troubled married couple would be the Democrats, & Republicans. Democrats would be male and the republicans being female. Why I would see it that way is my view, you could flip flop rolls if you want to. The President should put his foot down, being a neutral voice. His power is the voice of the people, the people that elected him so in counseling between the angry couple; he voices the children of this Nation. The President has done as much as a Mediator can do, and it’s up to the angry couple to do either two paths. The first path would solve the problems and have a happy marriage through the future with the kids. The second path would be a divorce, plain and simple. A divorce could mean anything; just take a look at our history it is not full of sunshine. Ultimately in a marriage you have kids involved, and they have to be taken care of either way.

    December 6, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. LGNY

    It's time for the Senate to end (or make more difficult) the filibuster. It is and never was part of the Constitution. It's just an internal rule for the Senate. It was invented in the 1850's by Senator Filibuster and until recently was very rarely invoked, and in several cases defeated. Now, every measure must pass by 60/40 in order to be filibuster proof. It was never the intent of the Constitution that every piece of legislation achieve this super majority.

    What began as an extreme measure is now a daily requirement. It's time to set it back to its original function or discard it as a destructive measure.

    December 6, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  13. jules sand-perkins

    Even if it's not 100% of what Obama wants?
    What the nation said on Nov. 2, 2010, was that it wasn't very interested in Obama's getting what he wants.
    Why not give Americans what they want? I think that would be a terrific idea.

    December 6, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
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