WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says if Congress sends him a bill to extend tax cuts for everyone -- even households making more than $250,000 a year -- President Barack Obama wouldn't sign it.
Obama today urged lawmakers to extend the cuts for those making less than that amount, instead of holding them "hostage," as he put it, to the continuing debate over extending tax cuts for wealthier Americans. As he spoke at the White House, he was flanked by a dozen people the White House said would benefit from the extension of the cut for middle-class Americans.
Republicans are rejecting his call for a partial extension. Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell says, "No one should see an income tax hike next year."
Mitt Romney also supports extending the cuts for all income earners. A spokeswoman for Romney's campaign says Obama's plan to let the cuts expire for the highest earners amounts to a "massive tax increase."
Democrats see the tax debate as part of a larger coordinated attack on Romney -- including calls for him to explain offshore bank accounts and release several years of tax returns.
Romney's people say the Democratic attacks on Romney's wealth are an "unfounded character assault."
168-a-14-(President Obama, in East Room remarks)-"we agree on"-President Obama says Bush's high-end tax cuts are controversial, but not tax cuts for households earning up to $250,000 or less a year. (9 Jul 2012)
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169-a-16-(President Obama, in East Room remarks)-"have that debate (applause fades)"-President Obama says there's no reason lawmakers can't agree on continuing the middle-class tax cuts now, and let voters decide the fate of top-end tax cuts this fall. (9 Jul 2012)
<<CUT *169 (07/09/12)>> 00:16 "have that debate (applause fades)"
GRAPHICSBANK: Barack Obama headshot, as US President, lays out his plan to extend tax cuts for the middle class, Washington, DC, graphic element on gray (9 Jul 2012)
APPHOTO DCSW102: President Barack Obama calls on Congress to pass a temporary, one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for people who make less than $250,000 a year, during a statement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (9 Jul 2012)
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APPHOTO DCSA103: President Barack Obama lays out his plan to extend tax cuts for the middle class, during an announcement from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 9, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (9 Jul 2012)
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