White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Monday declined to reaffirm President Barack Obamas pledge not to raise taxes on families earning under $250,000 per year, calling questions about the promise asked in the context of a possible tax on health benefits speculative.Gibbs asserted it would by hypothetical to talk about raising health benefit taxes because lawmakers have not approved health reform legislation and Obama has not yet been put in the position of having to decide whether to back such a taxWere going to let Congress do its job, Gibbs said.During the presidential campaign, Obama used his pledge not to tax health care benefits to bash his opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who said he would include the tax as part of his health plan.Democratic Senators have suggested in recent weeks that they may tax health benefits as a way to help pay for health reform. Obama and White House officials have not ruled out accepting such a move. Most unions firmly oppose the tax.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.