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D.C. Area Democrats Praise Obama's Plan

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Maryland congressman Chris Van Hollen is one of many area Democrats who are praising President Obama's new plan for reducing the deficit.
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Maryland congressman Chris Van Hollen is one of many area Democrats who are praising President Obama's new plan for reducing the deficit.

The D.C. region’s Democrats are lauding President Obama’s call to raise taxes on millionaires, but the plan faces an uphill battle in a divided Congress.

There isn’t really anything new in the president’s plan to slash the deficit, but it’s what the region’s Democrats wanted to hear. They’ve been calling for bolder action from the White House as they’ve gone toe to toe with a unified Republican Party that opposes any tax increases. 

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is one of just twelve members of the joint congressional committee, dubbed the "super committee,"  that’s charged with cutting more than $1 trillion from the nation's debt. He says GOP committee members are misguided if they reject the president’s call to raise tax rates on millionaires. 

“I certainly hope not, because every bipartisan group that has looked at this challenge has concluded that the only way you can address the serious deficit challenge over the next ten years is through a combination of spending cuts  and also tax reform that generates revenue by closing a lot of the special interest tax loopholes," he says.

Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin says the president’s plan to increase taxes on millionaires is fair. 

“We need a fiscally responsible plan to reduce the deficit that’s balanced, with everyone sharing in the sacrifice," says Cardin. "I think the way that he has presented it, it is balanced," Cardin says. "It does say to our most wealthy that they need to share helping to bring our budget back into balance."

Republican leaders are reaffirming their opposition to raising taxes as a part of a broad deal to slash the deficit, calling the issue a "non-starter." But it’s still unclear how much sway they hold over the six GOP members of the super committee.  The committee that’s tasked with cutting more than a trillion dollars from the nation’s debt needs to have its proposal ready by Thanksgiving. 

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