Biden pushes fiscal cliff plan

11:03 PM, Dec 7, 2012   |    comments
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David Jackson, USA TODAY

December 7. 2012 - Vice President Biden gets involved in the anti-fiscal cliff campaign on Friday, meeting with people who would see tax hikes if Congress and the White House are unable to reach a debt reduction deal.

The White House says Biden "will have lunch with a group of middle-class Americans," and "make the case for preserving tax cuts for 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses."

It's the latest move in a White House effort to apply political pressure to congressional Republicans who oppose Obama's proposal to raise taxes on the nation's wealthiest.

The president wants to extend George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class, while ending them on annual incomes higher than $250,000.

Republicans say an increase in tax rates will slow the economy and result in fewer jobs for Americans.

The Bush tax cuts are the key to a deal on heading off the so-called "fiscal cliff," a series of tax hikes and budget cuts that kick in next year without a new debt reduction agreement.

The parties hope for an agreement by the end of the year; if not, taxes go up on all Americans.

So far, there are no events on Obama's public schedule for Friday.

In recent days, the president has also been meeting with middle-class families, as well as business and labor leaders, in an effort to build support for his plan.

As for Biden, don't be surprised to see him get involved in negotiations with Congress; the vice president has good relationships with key Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

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