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BILL RADKE: The top Republican in the U.S. House surprised Democrats yesterday by saying he’d be open to a compromise on taxes. Congress is trying to figure out what to do about tax cuts enacted in the Bush administration that are due to expire at the end of this year.
Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer joins us now, live from Washington. Good morning, Nancy.
NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: Good morning, Bill.
RADKE: What did House Republican leader John Boehner say?
MARSHALL GENZER: He said he would be open to a compromise, which was unexpected. Until now, there’s been a lot of contention between Republicans and Democrats on this issue. Republicans say all tax cuts in a tough economy are good, even for the rich.
RADKE: How many people are we talking about here?
MARSHALL GENZER: Well, not you and me Bill, that’s for sure. We’re talking about 3 percent of the population not getting a tax break — the very rich. Families making less than $250,000 would get the tax cut. That’s who Boehner was talking about yesterday, when he spoke on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
REP. JOHN BOEHNER: If the only option I have is to vote for those at $250,000 and below, of course I’m going to do that. But I’m going to do everything I can to fight to ensure that we extend the current tax rates for all Americans.
Now, the federal government would save about $700 billion if the tax breaks for the rich were eliminated.
RADKE: OK, so Nancy, John Boehner appears willing to compromise, as you say. But he’s still going to need support from other Republicans. How do they feel?
MARSHALL GENZER: It’s not clear yet. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t issued any statement on Boehner’s remarks.
RADKE: OK. Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer joining us from Washington, D.C. Thank you, Nancy.
MARSHALL GENZER: You’re welcome.
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