Updated 12:30 p.m. ET | President Obama on Monday asked Congress to extend the tax cut for the 98 percent of American families who make less than $250,000 a year and to debate taxing the wealthy later.
Mr. Obama said tax cuts for the wealthy should expire, but many Republicans feel otherwise. “We can have that debate, but let’s not hold up what we all agree on,” he told an audience of supporters at the White House.
Watch his entire speech:
Andrea Saul, campaign spokeswoman of his presidential challenger, Republican Mitt Romney, issued a statement before the president’s speech:
“President Obama’s response to even more bad economic news is a massive tax increase. It just proves again that the president doesn’t have a clue how to get America working again and help the middle class. The president’s latest bad idea is to raise taxes on families, job creators, and small businesses. Almost half a million fewer Americans are working today than the day Barack Obama took office, and we’ve just come through the worst job creation quarter in two years. Unlike President Obama, Governor Romney understands that the last thing we need to do in this economy is raise taxes on anyone. He has a plan to permanently lower marginal rates, help middle-class Americans save and invest, and jumpstart economic growth and job creation.”
President Obama plans to announce Monday a renewed pressure campaign on Congress related to the issue of tax cuts, specifically calling for lawmakers to pass a one-year extension of the President Bush-era tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year.
As we noted in Monday’s Morning Line, the effort is much more about politics than policy. Given the divided Congress, any tax policy changes would likely pass one chamber but not the other.
Team Obama is planning to take his message on the road with campaign activities in battleground states, including Concord, N.H.; Las Vegas; Aspen, Colo.; and Tampa, Fla.
We’ll have more on Monday night’s NewsHour.