the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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Official White House Response to Cease paychecks and health benefits to ALL members of Congress and the President until the fiscal cliff is avoided
This response was published on January 11, 2013.

Avoiding the Fiscal Cliff with a Bipartisan Tax Agreement

By Brian Deese

After months of debate, in the end, lawmakers from both parties came together and passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act, a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans while preventing a middle-class tax hike. We're not going over the fiscal cliff. Middle-class families across the country will not see their income tax rates go up this year, and the same is true for 97 percent of small businesses. On top of that, 25 million families will continue receiving tax credits that help them raise their kids and pursue higher education. Businesses all across the country will continue to receive tax credits for the investments they make and research they conduct, and clean energy companies will get vital tax benefits for expanding their production. And 2 million Americans who are out of work and looking for jobs will continue to receive unemployment insurance. On top of that, for the first time in 20 years, a bipartisan group of lawmakers voted for sensible tax increases on the highest income earners -- which will help us cut the deficit by $737 billion.

But since you mentioned Congressional pay specifically, it's worth pointing out that the American Taxpayer Relief Act also includes a provision that freezes Congressional salaries for the rest of the year.

Brian Deese is Deputy Director of the National Economic Council

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