Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged his support for President Obama's proposed expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) during a lunch at the White House on Tuesday.
Bloomberg called the meeting a "thoughtful, honest dialogue" and said the conversation included a discussion of the president's "My Brother's Keeper" initiative to help young men of color, as well as Obama's budget proposal, which was released earlier in the day.
"Members of both parties should support expanding the EITC, a program that rewards work, lifts people out of poverty, and reduces dependence on government services. Leadership in both houses of Congress should seize the opportunity for bipartisanship, and pass the president's EITC proposal this year."
The president has proposed expanding the popular tax credit to benefit roughly 13.5 million workers who do not have children. The expansion would benefit low-income workers more than 25 years old, and has been touted by Republicans including Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.).
At an event announcing his budget earlier Tuesday, Obama called the EITC one of "the most effective and historically bipartisan ways to reduce poverty and help hardworking families pull themselves up."
"Right now it helps about half of all parents in America at some point in their lives," Obama said. "This budget gives millions more workers the opportunity to take advantage of the tax credit."
White House economic adviser Gene Sperling said Tuesday that "those who are serious about not just talking the talk but walking the walk on reducing poverty and helping low-income working families" should support the proposal.