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Obama, GOP reach deal to extend tax cuts

The president says he decided that an agreement with Republicans was more important than a stalemate that would have resulted in higher income taxes at all income levels on Jan. 1

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President Barack Obama has announced an agreement with Republicans on a framework to extend expiring tax cuts for all Americans.

The agreement also calls for the renewal of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and would grant a one-year reduction in Social Security taxes for millions.

Obama says the proposal contains elements he personally opposes, such as tax breaks for the wealthiest. But he says he decided that an agreement with Republicans was more important than a stalemate that would have resulted in higher income taxes at all income levels on Jan. 1. He also says raising taxes on middle-income Americans would hurt the economy.

He acknowledges opposition in his own party. Democrats have repeatedly raised objections to including the upper-income in any plan to extend tax cuts.

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