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Posted at 12:55 PM ET, 12/10/2010

Congressional Black Caucus opposes Obama on tax-cut package

By Felicia Sonmez

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Friday announced that they are overwhelmingly opposed to the deal President Obama has struck with Republicans on extending the Bush-era tax cuts and are proposing their own alternative that essentially hews to a plan House Democrats passed this month.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) was joined by CBC members Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Donald Payne (N.J.) and Donna Christensen (V.I.) in announcing the CBC's position on the package, which Lee said she made clear at House Democrats' meeting on Wednesday with Vice President Biden.

"We are simply here to say that we want a fair deal," Payne said. "You know, there was the New Deal under Roosevelt, and then there was a Fair Deal under Truman. Every new deal is not necessarily fair, and we see this new deal as not necessarily fair."

The announcement came one day after House Democrats aired their grievances on the tax-cut framework in a closed-door session.

In outlining the CBC's objections to the package, Lee said that the "vast majority" of CBC members are opposed to the estate tax provision and the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy and are worried that the spending cuts that could follow the package might hit the poor especially hard.

"We understand that there are tough choices that will need to be made next year and we are extremely concerned that the cuts that could be made should this package pass would disproportionately hurt the poor and low-income communities and further erode the safety net," Lee said.

The CBC's counter-proposal showed few signs of members giving up ground. The proposal includes a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class -- which was part of the tax-cut measure that the House passed this month -- as well as a payroll tax holiday and a 13-month extension of unemployment insurance benefits. All three components are priorities for congressional Democrats.

CBC members said that their plan would cost less than half of what the plan negotiated by Obama and Republicans would cost and create about the same number of jobs.

"You can't give everybody a tax cut like it's Oprah Winfrey or Santa Claus," Scott said, contending that the government would have more resources to deal with job creation if the CBC's plan is adopted.

The 41-member CBC is a voting bloc that generally has been supportive of Obama's agenda but has complained at times that its support is taken for granted. Lee said Friday that CBC members "don't see this as a personal issue at all" against Obama and would welcome a meeting with him to discuss the plan further.

The Senate is making progress on the Obama proposal, with the plan expected to come up for a vote as early as next Monday. Asked what the CBC will do if the Senate passes a version of the package that resembles Obama's compromise, Lee demurred.

"We're going to look at what takes place and determine our strategy as this evolves," she said. "Certainly there are a variety of legislative strategies and options that we're considering, but at this point we don't know exactly how this will play out."

By Felicia Sonmez  | December 10, 2010; 12:55 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tax-cuts deal will withstand Democrats' anger, Obama predicts (Updated)
Next: Earmark opponent Flake gets spot on House Appropriations



Gas prices have risen $1 since just after President Obama took office in January 2009 and are now closing in on the $3 mark, prompting an evaluation of the administration's energy record and calls for the White House to open more U.S. land for oil exploration.

The average price per gallon across the U.S. hit $2.81 this week, according to the Energy Information Administration. That was up from $1.81 the week of Jan. 26, 2009, just after the inauguration, and marks the highest price since Oct. 20, 2008.


Posted by: COOLCHILLY | December 12, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Here's the difference between Republicans and Democrats:

When Republican voters are mad at their leaders, it is because they are too fiscally irresponsible.

When Democrat voters are mad at their leaders, it is because they aren't fiscally irresponsible enough.

Posted by: TheMSMControlsUs | December 11, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Well considering that a majority of the voters in the districts represented by the Congressional Black Caucus probably don't pay taxes anyway it's easy to understand why they are upset.
To the voters in their districts it's just a tax break for the rich that they despise anyways, but again I repeat many of them pay no Federal Income Tax yet get a nice healthy refund every year.
You and I pay for that refund in the form of taxes.
When do we get a break from supporting the many that choose not to work and constantly require Government funding to raise their kids, feed their kids, clothe their kids and provide education and medical services from government created social welfare programs.
There is no incentive to progress to self sufficiency in a socialist state of life support.

Posted by: jhnjdy | December 10, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh Good News,the entire Democratic Party
is busy eating their own young again...And
that will get Republican Sarah Palin elected as our next President of the USA
in 2012! Your doing a heck of a job here
Democrats! NOT! You got my vote Sarah!

Posted by: TammyLong1985 | December 10, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

"Congressional Black Caucus opposes Obama on tax-cut package'

Who cares?

Posted by: Charley_XF | December 10, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse


Hey Democrats,

Posted at 11:20 PM ET, 12/ 9/2010
Bill Clinton, back in the White House briefing room
By Perry Bacon Jr.

Updated: 5:16 p.m. Dual Status

President Bill Clinton made a highly unusual appearance at the White House Friday afternoon, emerging from a meeting with President Obama to endorse the tax-cut agreement Obama reached this week with congressional Republicans.

"The agreement taken as a whole is I believe the best bipartisan agreement we can reach," Clinton said in the White House briefing room with Obama standing beside him. Clinton's backing could help Obama persuade many in his party who are currently opposing the agreement.

The scene was remarkable. The two presidents appeared at the podium together. Obama then left for a meeting, while Clinton remained, taking questions in a news conference carried live on CNN.

"You're in good hands," Obama said.




Posted by: kstobbe1 | December 10, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

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