White House, GOP Clash on Tax Cutting Ideas

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Congress is back in session and the first order of business is taxes.

Both parties want to extend the Bush tax cuts, but they have different ideas on how to do it. There are no guarantees that they will reach an agreement before the elections in November.

"If the only option I have is to vote for some of those tax reductions, I'll vote for them," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. "But I've been making the point now for months that we need to extend all the current rates for all Americans if we want to get our economy going again and we want to get jobs in America."

However, Democratic leaders only want to extend the tax cuts for those making $250,000 or less.

Click play to watch John Jessup's updated report, followed by analysis from CBN News Washington Correspondent Jennifer Wishon.

In the last week, the White House seized on the deadlock by attacking the GOP leader's position.

"So let me be clear to Mr. Boehner and everybody else -- we should not hold middle-class tax cuts hostage any longer," President Barack Obama said.

Democrats argue letting the cuts expire on the rich will give the government $700 billion to cut the deficit.

"Borrowing $700 billion to extend tax cuts that average more than $100,000 a year to millionaires and even billionaires is the least effective bang for the buck we have," said Austan Goolsbee, Chief White House Economic Advisor.

However, Boehner's concession doesn't mean he's fully on board with the idea. He characterizes the White House plan as "class warfare," saying Washington should focus more on cutting government spending.

"If we cut spending, we will help our economy," Boehner said. "We will send signals to the markets. We will send signals to the business community that Washington's attempting to get its fiscal house in order."

On the whole, Democrats think they have a winning argument, essentially daring Republicans to vote against a bill that would extend only to the middle class. However, Republicans argue that raising taxes in a weak economy is just bad policy. Some Democrats in conservative districts are pushing their leadership to extend the tax rates for all income brackets, even if it's temporary.

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John Jessup

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John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.