WASHINGTON Republicans in Congress hardened their resistance to President Barack Obama’s proposed higher taxes for top earners and called on him to propose spending cuts.
Obama’s budget plan is “mainly tax hikes,” House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday in Washington. “We’ve got some serious differences,” he said. During a phone call Tuesday, Boehner said, he and the president were “frank” about “how far apart we are.”
If Congress doesn’t act, more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts, the so-called fiscal cliff, will start taking effect Jan. 1. Tax rates for income at all levels would rise, along with taxes on estates, capital gains and dividends.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor Wednesday he was “very, very disappointed” with the lack of progress. He said Republicans will either agree to raise tax rates on top earners, “or we are going to go over the cliff” of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to begin in January.
House leaders are telling members that votes are possible after Christmas, said Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash. “It’s going to be a long December.”
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.