Following a meeting with Barack Obama on Friday, congressional leaders of both parties gave a joint speech for the first time in over a year in an effort to project a message of bipartisan unity.
Each side at least signaled a willingness to put ‘on the table’ issues dear to the two parties, agreeing on a framework to discuss both tax and entitlement reform next year.
John Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House, and Mitch McConnell, who leads the party in the Senate, said they had agreed to put ‘revenue on the table’ as the two sides enter what are likely to be weeks of tense negotiations before a December 31st deadline.
Obama could agree to allow the top tax rate to rise to something less than the 39.6 per cent he wants. Policymakers, for example, could also agree to limit the tax increase to households making more than $500,000 annually, rather than the $250,000 cap Obama is demanding.
Republicans have suggested generating more revenue by limiting tax breaks for the wealthiest, rather than raising their rates. Obama has said that would not raise enough money.
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