Obama, GOP strike deal to extend Bush-era tax cuts for two years

ResistNet.com By Sam Youngman

President Obama, while acknowledging the disappointment within his own party, announced Monday that he has agreed to sign a two-year extension of all of the Bush-era tax cuts.

Obama addressed reporters after meeting with Democratic leaders and said he reluctantly agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in exchange for a 13-month extension of unemployment insurance benefits.

Calling the deal a "framework for a bipartisan agreement," the president also secured Republican support to maintain some of the tax cuts that were included in Obama's stimulus plan. The GOP balked at keeping one of the stimulus tax breaks, the so-called Making Work Pay Credit, and instead accepted an administration proposal to reduce the payroll tax by 2 percentage points — a more expensive plan that would represent a sharper reduction in taxes for most Americans.

Obama repeatedly said that he opposes extending the high-end tax cuts, but he said it is "abundantly clear to everyone in this town that Republicans" would block an extension for only the middle-class cuts.

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