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Obama Threatens Tax Cut Veto as Unemployment Extension Languishes

The White House threatened to veto a new $156 billion corporate tax cut proposed by House Republicans, noting the same group has refused to act on an unemployment extension. The bill would permanently extend the research and development tax credit without paying for it — adding to the deficit. As the White House Office of Management and Budget noted in a Statement of Administration Policy on Tuesday, it doesn't even comport with the budget resolution the House passed just last month. President Barack Obama supports extending the credit, but wants to offset the cost by ending other corporate tax breaks instead. "The deficit increase in H.R. 4438 is more than fifteen times the cost of the proposed extension of emergency unemployment benefits, which Republicans are insisting be offset," the statement noted. If all of the other expired tax credits were extended without offsets, it would undermine the increased revenue from the fiscal cliff deal inked at the start of 2013 and cost about $500 billion, the administration complained. The administration also knocked the GOP for putting corporate tax breaks ahead of those for the middle class: "House Republicans also are making clear their priorities by rushing to make business tax cuts permanent without offsets even as the House Republican budget resolution calls for raising taxes on 25 million working families and students by letting important improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and education tax credits expire." The veto threat included the weaker "advisors would recommend" language, rather than a strong denunciation, leaving at least a sliver of doubt about what Obama would do. Democrats also are bemoaning the unemployment insurance legislation at a standstill. Last week, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., noted the entire cost of the House tax cut could be paid for if Republicans would bring the Senate immigration overhaul to the floor. That's a deal the White House would likely find too good to refuse — not that Republicans are considering the idea.   Related stories: Unemployment Extension Hearing Scrapped Thanks to Meeting Room Spat Unemployment Extension Fodder for Obama WHCD Joke Obama Pressures GOP on Unemployment Extension, Minimum Wage Reid, Heller Still Hope for House Action on Unemployment Extension Senate Passes Unemployment Benefits Extension Unemployment Extension Vote Not Worrying House Republicans Boehner Still Cool to Senate Unemployment Extension Bill Unemployment Extension Fight Pits Portman Against Boehner Doctors Win, Jobless Lose: The GOP Confronts New Perception Problem Get breaking news alerts from Roll Call on your iPhone or in your inbox.