Based on a few details that have begun emerging from the White House, President Obama, in his big speech Thursday night, is expected to unveil a proposal that includes $300 billion in tax cuts and federal spending to stimulate the economy and job creation. The costliest measures would be extensions of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits that he has already begun promoting. He also is expected to call for a $30 billion extension of a small business tax break that allows firms to deduct the full value of new equipment and an infrastructure project, The Associated Press reports.
On Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) sent a letter to the president asking for a sit down before he delivers his address to a joint session of Congress. It may or may not be a strategic move, but for the first time in months, if not years, the two leaders have indicated that they’re in the mood to compromise. The cynical would say they are trying to stymie charges by the president and other Democratic lawmakers that Republicans are willing to oppose Obama at all costs, even if it harms the economy and the American public. In addition, last week Boehner came under scrutiny for refusing the president’s initial request to speak on Sept. 7.
“While it is important that we continue to debate and discuss our different approaches to job creation, it is also critical that our differences not preclude us from taking action in areas where there is common agreement,” Boehner and Cantor wrote. “We should not approach this as an all or nothing situation.”
They’re not the only ones to reach out to the president to weigh in on the speech. He also received a letter from the chairs of the congressional Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific American and progressive caucuses, asking for a meeting to discuss the proposals they’d like him to consider including in his package.
(Photo: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)