Business groups urge quick extension of tax policies in lame duck


Greg Casey, head of the Business Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC), said lawmakers should not hold a fire drill to take care of the last year's fire drill that was the failure of the congressional supercommittee, which set 10 years and $1 trillion worth of automatic spending cuts into motion starting next year, barring any last-minute congressional attempts to block them.

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Changes in tax policy should be reserved for a grand bargain — Obama has said a broader agreement could be completed by the summer — that would probably include an overhaul of the tax code and entitlement programs, Engler said.

A grand bargain will require complex negotiations that will take more time than the six or so weeks left before year's end.

"What we need is action," Engler said.

Engler, Casey and Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, told reporters that Obama must lay out a blueprint for Congress that will tackle the long list of these issues hampering a more robust economic recovery.

"This is going to take executive leadership," Engler said.

Timmons said it is time for unity to help the country improve its global competitiveness.

"Our goal is to grow the economy," he said.

The president talked to congressional leaders on Wednesday about the legislative agenda less than a day after winning reelection. But congressional leaders immediately staked out the same positions that have created so much division on Capitol Hill.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would not yield to raising any taxes this year, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) argued for letting tax rates expire for wealthier earners.

Still, both men hinted that they need to find a way to work togther toward a bipartisan compromise.