Republicans Ready to Block Obama Plan to Let Tax Cuts for the Wealthiest Expire

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Mitch McConnellSenate Republicans will likely block President Barack Obama's plan to effectively increase taxes for the wealthiest U.S. citizens by allowing a tax cut enacted by George W. Bush's administration to expire at year-end. Reuters reported that Republicans have enough votes to prevent Obama from letting the tax cuts expire while extending those cuts for the middle class, citing Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky., pictured).

No. 2 House Republican Eric Cantor (R-Va.) today suggested a vote on whether to extend the Bush tax cuts. In a statement, he called the prospect of raising taxes "a nonstarter," Reuters said.

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The Obama administration and Senate Republicans are deadlocked on the issue of where to direct tax cuts, while some Senate Democrats have expressed concern that letting the Bush tax cuts expire would further hamper efforts to get the U.S. economy recovering more strongly, according to Reuters.

The administration has estimated that extending tax cuts for the two top income groups would cost the country $700 billion over the course of a decade, the wire service reported. Obama last week said Republicans were "holding hostage" middle-class tax cuts in order to benefit wealthier taxpayers.

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