White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at the daily press briefing that they consulted with those leaders who had been advocating the $1 million mark.
“We consult with Democratic leaders in the Senate and the House all the time,” Carney said. “I don’t think it came as a surprise to anyone, Republican or Democrat, in Congress that the president supports extending tax cuts for middle-class Americans.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) accused Obama of “doubling down on his quixotic call” for hikes that have been rejected by Congress before to buffet the blow from Friday’s weak jobs report.
Boehner also tailored the message seen throughout GOP reactions — that Obama wants to hike taxes on small businesses.
“How will these small business tax hikes create jobs? Even Democratic congressional leaders and former President Clinton have turned their back on this proposal,” Boehner said.
“President Obama needs to learn that when it comes to jobs and the economy ‘leading from behind’ is not good enough.”
“Job creators already face excessive taxation, burdensome regulations and disastrous legislation— like Obamacare — that make doing business in America ever more difficult,” said Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.). “The last thing America’s job creators need is another tax increase from President Obama.”
Obama claimed in his statement that the “job creators” in America wouldn’t be negatively impacted, despite the argument he knew Republicans would put forth.
“They’ll try to explain how this would be bad for small businesses,” Obama said. “…The proposal I make today would extend these tax cuts for 97 percent of all small business owners in America. In other words, 97 percent of small businesses fall under the $250,000 threshold. …I want to give them relief. I want to give those 97 percent a sense of permanence.”
A swing-state senator from the location of Obama’s Friday bus tour — and potential vice presidential pick — was ready to counter that message.
“Additional burdens on families, small businesses and job creators will only make our economy worse,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). “Comprehensive tax reform is what we need to give our economy a shot in the arm and give small businesses the certainty and predictability they need to hire workers.”
GOP Senate leadership promptly sent out statistics on “Obama’s Small Business Tax Hike,” including the rundown of 40 Senate Democrats who voted for the tax compromise in 2010 — including Joe Manchin (W.Va.), who’s noticeably skipping September’s Democratic National Convention to focus on home-state campaigning, and vulnerable Dems Bill Nelson (Fla.), Jon Tester (Mont.), and Clarie McCaskill (Mo.), who got a fundraising hand from Vice President Joe Biden today.
“This would be the single biggest tax increase in U.S. history – $850 billion – with much of that on the backs of small businesses which pay through the individual rate,” said Sen. David Vitter (R-La.). “Obama said we shouldn’t do that in late 2010 because the economy was so weak – yet growth is weaker now than then.”
“It also seems clear all those in the middle class can count on a tax increase if Obama is reelected with his limited one-year reprieve.”