WASHINGTON Dec 6 President Barack Obama takes
his "fiscal-cliff" campaign to the home of a family in Northern
Virginia on Thursday to illustrate the impact of letting taxes
go up on the middle class, as signs emerge that Republicans are
contemplating a change in strategy in their battle with
Democrats over deficit reduction.
With about three weeks remaining before steep tax hikes and
budget cuts that comprise the so-called fiscal cliff are set to
begin, the White House said Obama would visit the home of a
family that responded to a presidential Twitter request for
real-life stories about the burden of a tax increase on the
Northern Virginia is a suburban expanse across the Potomac
River from the U.S. capital that includes some of the wealthiest
counties in the United States as well as populous middle-class
developments that have grown up over the past quarter century.
Due to its proximity to the White House, the president often
uses it as a setting for public relations efforts.
"A member of this family shared her story about how paying
$2,200 more in taxes next year would impact them if Congress
doesn't act," said a White House statement, which added that
over 100,000 people responded to the Twitter request.
Obama and Democrats in Congress want the tax cuts set to
expire at the end of the year to be extended for taxpayers with
income below $250,000 a year, but not for the wealthiest 2
percent of Americans.
In exchange, the president has said he is willing to
consider significant spending cuts that include unspecified
changes to "entitlement" programs such as Medicare, the
government health insurance plan for seniors.
Republicans are holding out for an extension of all the tax
cuts, but have become increasingly divided over the past two
weeks about whether they can prevail in the face of Obama's firm
stance and Republican control of only the House of
Representatives but not the U.S. Senate.
On Wednesday night, Republican Senator Bob Corker of
Tennessee hinted on PBS' "Newshour" program that a change of
strategy might be in the works.
"I think that there's a lot of thinking about the best way
to actually cause the president to actually come forth with a
real plan" for deficit reduction that might break the deadlock,
he said, adding that "it just isn't" happening now.
"There's movement in a lot of directions," he said. "And so
I do think Republicans are looking" at "what is the best way to
get us in a place where we actually have the leverage."