When Obama says he will veto the stimulus package and opts for ‘best available options,’ Republicans say he is kidding
The White House is still reeling from a surprise veto by President Barack Obama of a package of $1.1 trillion in tax and spending increases that was expected to boost the economy.
The $1 trillion stimulus package is scheduled to be signed into law by the president at the White House on Tuesday night.
It is expected to create 2.5 million jobs and spur growth of 2.9% to 3.2%.
Republicans are already calling on Obama to veto the package because of the tax hikes and other changes they say will hurt the economy and make the U.S. more vulnerable to foreign attacks.GOP lawmakers on Wednesday called for the White White House to hold a press conference to discuss the proposed tax hikes, saying it is too soon to consider any of the changes.
The president has the power to veto any such legislation that would reduce his authority to enforce federal laws, including the budget caps that are in place for the foreseeable future.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement that the White’s response is the height of hypocrisy.
“Mr. President, you promised to veto a $1-trillion tax increase on millions of Americans but now you are suggesting you will veto a trillion-dollar tax increase for the richest Americans,” he said.
“Mr. Obama, you were in the Oval Office.
Why did you vote to give millionaires a $200,000 tax cut when you voted to give millions of middle-class families a $600,000 refund?”
The Republican-controlled Senate is expected later this week to vote on the $1trillion stimulus package.
The White House has yet to respond to a request for comment on the planned press conference.
But White House spokesman Eric Schultz has previously said that the stimulus was the best available options to boost growth and create jobs.
“The President believes that the best economic plan would be for the President to veto this package, but he will continue to pursue the best possible economic options,” Schultz said in an email.
“It is premature to comment on this legislation at this time,” he added.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R.-Ala., the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said the tax increases are a “serious, serious threat” to the economy, but that he supports the stimulus.
“We’ve got to have the best path to get growth back to the president’s priorities,” he told ABC News.
“That is not a new issue.
We’ve talked about this a number of times,” Sessions said.
Sessions said that while he doesn’t support the stimulus, he supports tax relief for middle-income and small businesses and increased tax relief to help businesses hire.
The Senate is set to vote Wednesday on the stimulus as part of its long-anticipated spending bill, which will likely increase spending by $1,500 for the first time in more than a decade.
The legislation is expected take the Senate and House into the recess next week for a full-week session before lawmakers return to Washington on April 8.