View From the Left: Obama ‘Kept Giving Stuff Away’

The New York Times
January 1, 2013

View From the Left: Obama ‘Kept Giving Stuff Away’

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President Obama’s fiscal deal with Republicans has touched off a fresh wave of grievance among disappointed liberals who complained that he caved in on taxes and sent a signal that he would ultimately surrender on other priorities as he prepared to open his second term.

While most Democratic senators went along with the compromise in an early-morning vote on Tuesday, activists, labor leaders and liberal economists issued a harsh barrage against the deal. The president, they said, squandered his election victory by allowing too many wealthy Americans to keep income and estate tax cuts that otherwise would have expired.

The criticism frustrated the White House, which argued that the president held true to his top priorities by forcing Republicans to accept higher income tax rates on higher income levels after they had long refused to do so. Aides noted that Mr. Obama also won important concessions in extending unemployment benefits and targeted tax credits, while beating back Republican demands to scale back the growth of entitlement benefits. Continue reading “View From the Left: Obama ‘Kept Giving Stuff Away’”

G.O.P. Anger Over Tax Deal Endangers Final Passage

G.O.P. Anger Over Tax Deal Endangers Final Passage

Molly Riley/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Representative Eric Cantor arrived at the Capitol on Tuesday.

By and
Published: January 1, 2013

WASHINGTON — House Republicans reacted with anger Tuesday afternoon to a Senate-passed plan to head off automatic tax increases and spending cuts, putting the fate of the legislation in doubt just hours after it appeared Congress was nearing a resolution of the fiscal crisis.

Lawmakers said that Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 Republican, indicated to his colleagues in a closed-door meeting in the basement of the Capitol that he could not support the legislation in its current form. Many other Republicans were voicing stiff objections to a plan that they saw as raising taxes while doing little to rein in spending. Several conservatives assailed it on the House floor as the chamber convened at noon for an unusual New Year’s Day session.

The aides said that Speaker John A. Boehner, who had pledged to put any measure the Senate passed on the House floor for a vote, was mainly listening to the complaints of his rank and file and had not taken a firm position on the legislation, though he had clear reservations. Continue reading “G.O.P. Anger Over Tax Deal Endangers Final Passage”

America awaits House action on cliff

America awaits House action on cliff

By: Jake Sherman and Carrie Budoff Brown and Kate Nocera
January 1, 2013 02:58 AM EST

Congress lost a mad, New Year’s Eve dash to beat the fiscal cliff deadline, cinching a deal with President Barack Obama to raise taxes on the wealthy and temporarily freeze deep spending cuts but failing to get it through both chambers before midnight.

So over the cliff the country went — though perhaps for only a day or two and, assuming no snags, without incurring the double whammy of another recession and higher unemployment.

Vice President Joe Biden emerges from fiscal cliff talks. | Mahaskey photo(PHOTOS: Fiscal cliff’s key players)

The measure, which would raise tax rates for families making more than $450,000 and delay deep across-the-board spending cuts for two months, cleared the Senate by an overwhelming 89-8 vote shortly after 2 a.m. The Republican-controlled House could take up the pact in a rare New Year’s Day session, though the timing of that chamber’s vote was not clear.

The $620 billion agreement was a major breakthrough in a partisan standoff that has dragged on for months, spooking Wall Street and threatening to hobble the economic recovery. It turned back the GOP’s two-decade-long refusal to raise tax rates, delivering a major win for the president. Continue reading “America awaits House action on cliff”

Senate Passes Legislation to Allow Taxes on Affluent to Rise

The New York Times
January 1, 2013

Senate Passes Legislation to Allow Taxes on Affluent to Rise

By

WASHINGTON — The Senate, in a pre-dawn vote two hours after the deadline passed to avert automatic tax increases, overwhelmingly approved legislation on Tuesday that would allow tax rates to rise only on affluent Americans while temporarily suspending sweeping, across-the-board spending cuts.

The deal, worked out in furious negotiations between Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the Republican Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, passed 89 to 8, with just three Democrats and five Republicans voting no. Although it lost the support of some of the Senate’s most conservative members, the broad coalition that pushed the accord across the finish line could portend swift House passage as early as New Year’s Day. Continue reading “Senate Passes Legislation to Allow Taxes on Affluent to Rise”

Deal To Avert ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Appears Likely

December 31, 2012 7:20 PM

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the “fiscal cliff” tonight, as 2013 begins.

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

NPR’s coverage of President Obama’s comments on the “fiscal cliff” talks

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have signed off on the agreement, which calls for a two-month deferral of the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester. The source says the cuts will be paid for half with revenue and half with more targeted spending cuts.

President Obama during his appearance this afternoon. Continue reading “Deal To Avert ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Appears Likely”