WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Saturday blamed the Republicans for promoting a situation where Americans will be required to pay increased taxes next year.
In the GOP response, a senator accused Obama and the Democratic Party of alleged obstructionist intent, putting the bulk of the tax burden on businesses during a period of economic slowdown.
Obama, in his weekly address over the radio and internet, urged the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to extend the tax cuts for people earning below $250,000 a year while letting tax reductions on big businesses expire.
The Senate, controlled by Democrats, passed the bill by a narrow margin earlier this week. It is, however, expected to be rejected in the House of Representatives.
“Instead of doing what is right for middle class families and small business owners, Republicans in Congress have taken hostage the tax cuts until we extend the same cuts for the wealthiest people in America,” Obama said.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Obama’s plan will have a negative impact on the economy.
The opposing views represent the current political debate in Washington and the presidential race. Since the economy is the top issue for voters, Obama, his Republican rival Mitt Romney, and lawmakers from both parties are locked in a political race for votes for the November election.