President Obama is hoping the same campaign tools that helped him win re-election will also deliver a policy win in the fight over federal taxes.
The president wants Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans, while allowing taxes to go up for the wealthiest 2 percent. His aides are using email, social media and beyond-the-Beltway campaign appearances in hopes of putting pressure on Republican lawmakers.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. (right), shown at a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is arguing for raising taxes on the wealthy as part of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.
As negotiations continue in Washington over a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff — that combination of tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled for Jan. 1 — one big sticking point is whether to raise tax rates for high-income Americans.
Congress and the White House constructed the cliff last year, thinking it would force them to focus on solving the deficit problem. But they're still battling over what approach makes the most sense.
Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:56 am
Facing criticism over appointing an all male slate of chairmen to lead major House committees, Speaker John Boehner on Friday announced that Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan will head the House Administration Committee.
As of now, Miller is the only Republican woman expected to head a House committee when the 113th Congress convenes Jan. 3.
Freshman Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has been standing side by side with colleagues John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in questioning the Obama administration's version of events about the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September.
It is just the latest in a series of high-profile moments for Ayotte, who is seen as a rising star in a party struggling to win female voters.
Committe Chairman John Kerry , D-MA, speaks during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of Robert Beecroft to be ambassador to Iraq Sept. 19 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 2:19 pm
President Obama has yet to make known his choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but plenty of Republicans have made theirs: John Kerry.
And that puts the Massachusetts senator and former Democratic presidential nominee in a bit of a bind. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he'd normally be one of the loudest voices defending U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice against GOP attacks that she mishandled her role in explaining an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. But she's the other top contender for the Cabinet post.
NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin take you over the cliff in the latest podcast.
This week: a less-than-friendly reception for Susan Rice among Senate Republicans; some in the GOP declare their independence from the no-tax pledge; an update in the battle to succeed Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress; and the 2013 gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey begin to take shape.
U.S. Rep. Allen West came to Washington as part of the 2010 wave of Tea Party-backed candidates. He became known as aggressive and outspoken, but his tenure in Congress was short-lived. He recently conceded a close race for Florida's 18th District. West sits down with host Michel Martin to reflect on his term and his outlook for the future.
The White House and congressional leaders continue to talk about taxes, spending cuts and how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives at midnight Dec. 31 — when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to go into effect.
As NPR and others cover the story, we'll try to to point to interesting reports and analyses. Here are three of the latest.
"No substantive progress has been made." That's what House Speaker John Boehner had to say Thursday about efforts to avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases at year's end.
The administration's lead negotiator, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, met with congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle Thursday, looking for an agreement on the hazard Congress and the White House created last year to focus their minds on deficit reduction.
Renee Montagne talks with Rep. Raul Labrador, Republican from Idaho and one of the congressmen who introduced the bill that's set for a vote Friday. The STEM Jobs Act allows people who are in the U.S. legally who are getting advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math to stay and get their green cards, he says.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner took the administration's plan to avert the so-called fiscal cliff to skeptical Republicans on Capitol Hill on Thursday. The proposal would increase taxes on the wealthiest by $1.2 trillion and cut Medicare by $400 billion over a decade.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation to make old emails a little more private on Thursday. The legislation also applies to old Facebook posts, Google documents and anything else you might be hiding online behind a password.
Scott Horsley talks to Melissa Block about who's in the top two percent of American taxpayers. That group would have their taxes raised if President Obama gets his way in the fiscal cliff negotiations.
Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 4:46 pm
Yes, he talked about the negotiations over taxes and spending cuts. Yes, it was a holiday photo op. But what really struck us about Vice President Joe Biden's this morning to Washington, D.C.'s first Costco store was how, once again, he just seems to have so much fun.
While the next Congress includes more women than ever before, the sexual ratio remains way below 50-50, and that applies not just too electoral politics but to the ranks of government officials. Yes, we've seen three women as secretary of state, but what about the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies? Important, argues Jane Harman, the president of our host today, the Woodrow Wilson Center, not just as demographic justice, but because women lead differently.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan with a special broadcast today from the Joseph H. and Claire Flom Auditorium at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. Today's show is part of a project called The National Conversation, a joint production of the Wilson Center and NPR.
The explosion in world popularity of quinoa in the past six years has quadrupled prices at retail outlets. But for all the demand from upscale grocery stores in America to keep their bulk bins filled with the ancient grain-like seed, almost no farmers outside of the arid mountains and coastal valleys of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile grow it.
But plant breeders and scientists who study the biology and economics of quinoa say that is about to change.
The Bush-era tax cuts are taking center stage on discussions about deficit reduction. But the payroll tax holiday is also at risk, which could cost the typical family $1,000 a year. Host Michel Martin talks with The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy about the fiscal cliff and how the outcome could affect consumers.
Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 11:58 am
As the White House and Congress debate how to steer clear of the fiscal cliff, one obstacle is the president's insistence that the wealthy should pay more in taxes. And one way that could happen is through changing the rules for dividends and capital gains.
If you own a share of stock in a company today, when the company pays out a dividend, the most you're taxed is 15 percent. And if you decide to sell the stock and cash out, you'd also pay 15 percent on your profits — the capital gains.