Counter-offer accepted? Yesterday, Senate Democrats introduced an alternative proposal for funding President Obama's $447 billion jobs package via a 5.6 percent millionaire surtax. The president is game, a senior administration official tells CNN, in an e-mail news alert. At his 11 a.m. press conference today, Obama will "push Congress to act on his jobs plan and credit Senate Democrats for taking action on jobs," and is "likely to endorse a 'millionaire's surtax'--a rate increase on those earning $1 million or more." That squares with what Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said at a news conference Wednesday morning.
"This is a change from the original proposal, but we’ve consulted with the White House on this and they’re fine with the idea," he said. "In fact, their pay-fors were a trigger, and the president from the beginning said he welcomes alternative ways of paying for it. We think we have found the best way to pay for it, and we believe this package reflects our priorities and the president’s priorities."
As The Washington Post's Felicia Sonmez explained yesterday, the president's original plan was for the 12-member Super Committee to find about a half-trillion in deficit savings to pay for the jobs package. In that situation, "If the supercommittee is unable to find those savings, then the White House plan would pull the 'trigger' on a proposal that would generate $467 billion in new revenue over the next decade by closing tax loopholes benefiting oil and gas companies as well as eliminating deductions for individuals earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000 a year," she writes. According to The Wall Street Journal, Republicans say they oppose the surtax plan.