Financial Services Committee member Rep. Nan Hayworth, M.D. (R-NY) on the battle in Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on a pair of rival bills each offering a different plan for the Bush-era tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of this year.
The Republican plan would extend cuts for all Americans. Democrats want an extension of tax breaks for individual and families earning up to $250,000 a year. The clock is ticking and starting Friday, Congress will go on a five-week recess.
Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), ranking Democrat on the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" this morning about the competing plans.
"Basically what the Republicans are doing is holding hostage the tax cut for the middle class," Rep. Cummings says. "It's - unfortunate we're in a place in Washington where right now where it seems like very little is going to be done."
See more from his interview in the clip above.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are debating this week on how to handle the Bush-era tax cuts. There are two competing plans with one major difference:
* Democrats support a version that extends the tax cuts for individuals up to their first $200,000 in yearly income, which narrowly passed the Senate last week.
* Republicans want the cuts extended for all Americans.
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) sits on the House Ways and Means Committee. He will introduce the House version of the Senate's Bill this week. He explains what Congress needs to do is to reach a compromise.
"I believe that right now what we're looking for is compromise," Rep. Crowley says. "We're hoping our Republican colleagues will come in. Right now if we passed the bill, if you are a sergeant in the military serving overseas in Afghanistan, you have a wife and children back stateside, you will see a $400 increase in your taxes if the Republican Bill would become law. That's unacceptable for the middle class and working Americans. We need to pass a bill that makes sense for America, not just for the wealthiest 2% of this country."
This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) tells Soledad that he would vote to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, saying that this is the wrong time to raise taxes on anyone.
"This is not the fault of hard-working American taxpayers," Sen. Lee says. "This is the fault of Congress. This is the fault of Washington, D.C. and it needs to be fixed here and not on the backs of the American people who would pay for this in terms of job losses."
Sen. Lee also talks about the Disclose act.
This morning on "Starting Poing with Soledad O'Brien," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says it's a 'very real possibility' that Congress will let the Bush-era tax cuts expire, raising taxes across the board and hitting what economists are calling a 'fiscal cliff.'
"I certainly don't want to see any tax increase for working families," Sen. Durbin says. "That's the president's position. That's my position. And it's within the power of Congress to avoid that. But if we have to have this day of reckoning in order to finally break through and have meaningful deficit reduction that still creates a growing economy, then let's face it."
"There's a very real possibility, unless there's an agreement," Sen. Durbin adds. "People of goodwill in both political parties should work to avoid it. I want to work to avoid it. Let's start with the basic premise. Everybody in America has to do their fair share to reduce our debt and keep this economy moving forward, and that means saying to the top 2% of wage earners in America - listen, you're not getting the tax breaks did you in the past, but you're doing this for the good of our country and frankly in the end, we're all going to be better off, including the wealthy."
See more clips from the interview below. Transcript available after the jump.
This morning on "Starting Point," Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) weighs in on President Obama's plan to partially extend the Bush-era tax cuts.
"I think the economic facts are that tax breaks, more tax breaks for those at the very top just have not produced jobs," Rep. Doggett says.
See more clips from the interview below. In the second clip, Doggett addresses how the US can prevent outsourcing jobs and tax revenues to other countries.
This morning on "Starting Point," Rep. Steve King (R-IA) weighs in on President Obama’s plan to extend a portion of the Bush-era tax cuts, saying that it's a move that's 'playing into' an election year.
King says Obama's tax cut plan is a 'class-envy move'and many non-working Americans are shirking their responsibility by not doing their fair share to contribute to the United States GDP.
In the clip below, Rep. King explains why he thinks President Obama's tax cut extension plan is a political move.
See transcript after the jump.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) on President Obama's plan to extend Bush-era tax cuts to middle class Americans.