Obama, Hatch spar on Bush-era tax cuts
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- President Barack Obama on Saturday blamed Republicans for a standoff that could have Americans paying higher taxes in 2013, while a Senate Republican blasted Democrats for looking to raise taxes on businesses when the economy is struggling.
In his weekly radio and online address, Obama urged the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to extend Bush-era tax cuts for households earning $250,000 or under while letting tax reductions for wealthier Americans lapse. The Democratic-controlled Senate narrowly passed a version of the proposal this week, but the Republican House was expected to reject it.
"Instead of doing what's right for middle-class families and small-business owners, Republicans in Congress are holding these tax cuts hostage until we extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans," the president said.
Replying for Republicans to the president's weekly address, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah fired back at Democrats, saying their plan would crimp the economy. Hatch urged Congress to extend current tax rates for all.
"The president and his Washington allies need to stop holding america's economy hostage in order to raise taxes on those trying to lead our economic recovery," said Hatch, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. .
Without naming his presumed Republican rival, Obama still called Mitt Romney out, saying "Republicans in Congress and their nominee for president believe that the best way to create prosperity in America is to let it trickle down from the top. They believe that if our country spends trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthy, we'll somehow create jobs -- even if we have to pay for it by gutting things like education and training."
In London Saturday, Romney attended Olympic swimming events ahead of a planned trip to Israel, where he was scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday, according to media reports.
Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means committee said in a statement issued Saturday he would undergo treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Camp, a leading Republican voice on taxes and the deficit, said he had been diagnosed early and the disease known as large B-cell lymphoma was a "highly treatable and curable type."