Republican Lawmakers Cool to Obama’s Proposals on Tax Issues

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers are already signaling they will do what they can to block President Barack Obama’s pitch for tax increases on the wealthiest Americans.

Obama is making the pitch in his State of the Union address tomorrow night in hopes of putting the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over the middle class.

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Senior administration officials say Obama will call for raising the capital gains rate on top income earners and eliminating a tax break on inheritances, with the revenue going to fund new tax credits and other cost-saving measures for middle-class taxpayers.

Key Republicans in both chambers are indicating they’ll oppose the plan.

Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch says “slapping American small businesses, savers and investors with more tax hikes” will negate the benefits of tax policies that have helped expand the economy.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner calls the proposal, “the same, old top-down approach” from Obama.