President Barack Obama and Republican leaders have reached a deal on extending tax cuts for all Americans. The compromise, which is facing resistance from Democrats, still has to be approved by Congress.
According to media reports, the agreement between Obama and the GOP would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two years and is expected to cost the Federal government between $600 billion and $800 billion. Obama originally sought an extension for only low- and middle-income families, but legislative proposals that excluded the wealthiest earners were rejected by Senate Republicans.
In an effort to get the tax breaks passed before they expire on Dec. 31, Obama said that concessions had to be made. As part of the deal, Republicans agreed to vote to extend Federal unemployment benefits and to lower the payroll tax from 6.2 to 4.2 percent.
"Obviously, we don't like the part we think we've had to give," Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) told NBC News. "On the other hand, it is true that this issue has to be resolved now. And we think it's being resolved — all else being equal — in a positive way. So I think, without speaking for all of my colleagues, I can say that there was general positive reaction to the agreement."