President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans kick-started negotiations today at the White House over a possible extension of Bush-era tax cuts that are set to expire Dec. 31.
They will have to confront six areas of dispute dealing with taxes as well as issues such as renewing federal subsidies for extended jobless benefits that run out today. Some are exempt from budget-balancing rules. Others have to be paid for with offsetting tax increases or spending cuts or Congress has to vote to waive those budget rules, which requires 60 votes in the 100-member Senate. Still others weren’t enacted under President George W. Bush or already have expired.