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Obama Promises Liberal Groups He'll End Bush-Era Tax Cuts For The Wealthy

In meeting with progressive leaders, Obama doubles down on vow to end tax cuts for the wealthy.

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Jacquelyn Martin / AP

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama promised liberal groups on Tuesday that the Bush tax cuts will end for the nation's wealthiest, according to a statement from the progressive group MoveOn.

"MoveOn’s 7 million members will be pleased to know that President Obama today strongly reiterated his steadfast commitment to ensuring that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent finally end December 31—and to protecting the middle class in the process," said the group's political action executive director Justin Ruben after meeting with Obama at the White House.

In his daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney rejected the GOP's approach to raise revenues by cutting loopholes and deductions from the tax code, saying raising taxes on the rich was non-negotiable for Obama.

But Carney did not say whether Obama would stand by his "wealthy" cutoff line at $200,000 for individuals or $250,000 for families — a response to disagreement among Democrats over where to raise taxes and where to keep the rates the same or lower. Sen. Chuck Schumer has proposed raising the threshold to $500,000 or even $1 million.

The president "is not wedded to every detail of that plan," Carney said, when asked about the income levels. "I'm not going to negotiate hypothetical details."

But talking to reporters Carney once again claimed a mandate for the administration after last week's election to raise taxes on the wealthy.

"One of the useful things about this past year and the election is that these matters that the president and congress will be deciding in the coming days and months were front and center during the campaign season," he said. "In many ways, they've been front and center."