January 1, 2013
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’”
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”
January 1, 2013
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”