US House Republicans say resigned to tax hike in fiscal cliff

Republicans in the US House of Representatives are resigned to seeing some sort of income tax increase in legislation to avoid a "fiscal cliff," but such efforts could be doomed in the absence of spending cuts, some Republican lawmakers say.

Congress and President Barack Obama are gearing up for a last-ditch attempt to avoid $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that could halt progress in the U.S. economy, which lately has been showing signs of gaining ground.

The White House said Obama will host a meeting on Friday with the four top congressional leaders - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The Republicans have a majority in the House, while Obama's Democrats control the Senate.

House Speaker John Boehner informed his 241 Republican members on Thursday that the House would come back into session late on Sunday in anticipation of possible fiscal-cliff votes.

This Sunday's session "was about the only thing decided" during a half-hour conference call among House Republicans, said Representative Jeff Flake of Arizona, who will leave the House at the year-end to join the Senate.

In an interview shortly after the phone call, Flake said Republicans in the House and Senate were resigned to seeing some sort of increase in top income-tax rates, although he did not specify a dollar threshold.

While he said he did not want to see any income tax rates go up, Flake said: "I've felt we should've moved a week or two ago to accept the top rate going up and tell the president 'congratulations.'"

The bigger problem in avoiding the fiscal cliff, Flake said, would be if Obama demanded cancellation of the $109 billion in automatic spending cuts set to begin on Jan. 2 without alternative spending cuts to replace them.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.