The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

December 1, 2012

Pressuring GOP, Obama takes his fiscal plan to Pa.

(Continued)

HATFIELD, Pa. —

Obama spoke at the Rodon Group manufacturing facility, showcasing the company as an example of a business that depends on middle-class consumers during the holiday season. The company manufactures parts for K'NEX Brands, a construction toy company whose products include Tinkertoy, K'NEX Building Sets and Angry Birds Building Sets. The road trip was part of a dual White House strategy of having the president's team meet with members of Congress while Obama travels the country to pressure Congress to act.

The president joked that he's keeping his own "naughty and nice list" for members of Congress — and only some would get a K'NEX set for Christmas.

Administration officials said the White House offer, presented to Hill Republicans by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, constituted much of what Obama has previously suggested in budget proposals and during the campaign.

Under the administration's plan, the new tax revenue would include $950 billion generated by raising taxes on families with incomes over $250,000 and by closing certain tax loopholes. The remainder would be achieved through an overhaul of the tax system next year and would not become effective until 2014.

The proposal, which the administration has also described to business and labor leaders, would require Congress and the White House to identify a "down payment" of cuts and tax loophole closings by the end of this year that would buy Congress and the president time to negotiate a tax overhaul and changes in entitlement programs between now and Aug. 1.

One new feature in the Geithner plan is a call for increasing the nation's debt limit without the need for congressional approval. Under last year's debt ceiling deal, Obama simply had to notify Congress that he was raising the debt ceiling, a move that could be blocked only if both houses of Congress passed resolutions of disapproval that Obama could veto. The administration wants a permanent extension of the debt ceiling with a similar legislative arrangement and with no offsetting spending cuts, as demanded by Republicans.

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