Daily Tax Update - December 13, 2012: Boehner: Spending Cuts Holding Up Agreement

BOEHNER:  SPENDING CUTS HOLDING UP AGREEMENT:  With no agreement in sight to avert the impending fiscal cliff, both Democrats and Republicans continue to lay blame for failure to reach an agreement.  Today, House Speaker John Boehner said, "The president wants to pretend spending isn't the problem.  That's why we don't have an agreement.  Unfortunately, the White House is so unserious about cutting spending that it appears willing to slow-walk our economy right up to -- and over -- the fiscal cliff."  Boehner added, "We made a reasonable offer.  It's now up to the White House to show us how their way to cut spending will give us the balanced approach."

  • White House Press Secretary Jay Carney countered that Republicans' opposition to tax hikes on top earners is holding up an agreement.  President Obama said today that the negotiations were a "work in progress."
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that leaders would need to reach a deal "in the next couple of days" or by the beginning of next week at the latest in order to have time to write the legislation.  Pelosi said, "We're coming down to the wire.  It's a matter of days."
  • House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that the House may take some votes next weekend on the fiscal cliff.  Cantor said, "Members are advised that due to the ongoing negotiations regarding the fiscal cliff, a weekend session is possible, and therefore last votes for the week are not yet known."  Cantor added, "As was announced last week and the week before, the House will not adjourn the 112th Congress until action has been taken to avert the fiscal cliff.  Members are advised to retain flexibility in their travel schedules through the end of the year to the maximum extent possible."
  • Today, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer asked Cantor to consider working on two bills -  one that would extend middle class tax rates, and another extending lower rates on high-income earners. Cantor replied, "His proposal would leave the issue of increased taxes on small businesses making over $200,000 a year.  And if the concern is to try and focus on generating more jobs and helping heal the economy, I'd ask the gentleman in return, what is his suggestion about helping those businesses?  Because as we know, the preponderance of the jobs created come from those small businesses, $200,000 and up."

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE - CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE:  As provided for in Treasury regulations, advice (if any) relating to federal taxes that is contained in this communication (including attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any plan or arrangement addressed herein.

STEPTOE & JOHNSON LLP - TAX PRACTICE  Steptoe & Johnson LLP has one of the largest and most diverse law firm tax practices in the country.  The practice covers the entire spectrum of federal taxation, including representation of businesses before the Congress, Treasury and the national office of the IRS; transactional planning for domestic and multinational corporations; complex audit and controversy work for corporations and other business interests contesting IRS adjustments; litigation before the Tax Court, Court of Federal Claims, district courts, courts of appeals and the Supreme Court.  The firm's tax practice also encompasses all aspects of employee benefits (ERISA), executive compensation, tax-exempt organizations and charitable giving.  Steptoe has an extensive state and local tax practice, representing an array of business clients on complex sales and use tax, corporate income tax and property tax matters, both advising those clients and handling audits, administrative appeals, and litigation for them. Read more information on Steptoe's tax practice.