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WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans derailed legislation Saturday to extend expiring tax cuts at all but the highest income levels in a political showdown that paradoxically clears a path for a compromise with the White House on steps to boost the economy.
"We need to get this resolved and I'm confident we can do it," President Barack Obama said shortly after the near party-line votes. The public must have "the peace of mind that their taxes will not go up" on Jan. 1, he added.
Obama has signaled that he will bow to Republican demands for extending tax cuts at all income levels, and his remarks capped a day that lurched between political conflict and talk of compromise on an issue that played a leading role in last month's elections.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., eyeing the 2012 campaign, accused Republicans of siding with "millionaires and billionaires" with their rejection of proposals that would let tax cuts passed during George W. Bush's presidency lapse on seven-figure incomes.
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