Obama is against a tax extenders package that is not paid for and has criticized the House for not passing an unemployment extension. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Defying the White House and a yearslong push for more revenue, Senate Democrats are on the verge of passing an $85 billion grab bag of tax cuts with no plans to pay for them.
The question now is whether President Barack Obama will stick to his guns and threaten to veto the bill — picking an intraparty fight in an election year with control of the Senate at stake.
Ask a liberal Senate Democrat about the deficit-financed “tax extenders” package headed for the floor next week, and you’re likely to hear a refrain that could have been uttered by a Republican — some tax cuts shouldn’t have to be paid for because they pay for themselves. Or extending an expired tax cut shouldn’t count — never mind those pesky pay-as-you-go rules.
But the White House’s budget proposed a corporate tax package that would generate revenue to help pay for its transportation bill, not another tax cut that would inflate the deficit.
“Our position remains unchanged and we continue to believe the extenders should be paid for,” an administration official told CQ Roll Call.
(Update 5/13: The White House declined to issue a veto threat on the bill.)
The administration hasn’t yet threatened a veto of the Senate measure, but the Office of Management and Budget issued a sternly worded veto threat over the House GOP’s tax extender bill resurrecting the research and development tax credit and making it permanent, at a cost of $156 billion over the coming decade. Some 62 House Democrats defied their leaders and the president’s veto threat to help pass the bill Friday with a potentially veto-proof majority.
It’s not the tax break Obama opposes — his budget would revive it too. It’s the not-paying-for-it part. Full story