President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that he is appointing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew to work with representatives of both parties “to break through this logjam” over extending Bush-era tax cuts.
Obama emerged from a two-hour bipartisan meeting with Hill leaders saying he asked them to each appoint a Member to help in the negotiation process. The parties disagree over whether to extend the Bush tax cuts only for the middle class, as Democrats want, or to include people making more than $250,000 per year, as Republicans want. All of the cuts are set to expire at the end of the year.
“That process is beginning right away,” the president told reporters. “We expect to get some answers back over the next couple of days.”
Speaker designate John Boehner (Ohio) tapped Ways and Means ranking member Dave Camp (Mich.) to represent House Republicans in the group. Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) will represent Senate Republicans, while Finance Chairman Max Baucus (Mont.) will represent Senate Democrats.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) announced late Tuesday that presumptive Budget ranking member Chris Van Hollen (Md.) will represent House Democrats.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.