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WASHINGTON (AP) — A leading Senate conservative said Thursday he believes President Barack Obama is ready to embrace the notion of keeping Bush era tax rates in place for everyone at least temporarily, including the wealthy, with no New Year's increases.
Republican Sen. Jim DeMint told CBS's "The Early Show" he wants to "keep tax rates the same." The South Carolinian said he believes Obama "has come around to the idea that taxes can't be raised in a recession."
DeMint favors a permanent extension of the existing rates but said he thinks Obama will oppose anything beyond a temporary extension for the wealthy. The senator said, "A business is not going to plan to add 50 people if they only know what their taxes are going to be for the next two years."
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House Budget Director Jacob Lew held two closed-door meetings Wednesday with a group of four lawmakers from both parties to negotiate a deal on tax cuts.
Reps. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Dave Camp, R-Mich., two of the lawmakers involved in the tax negotiations, gave no indication Thursday that they were making any progress on a deal.
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