House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner hopes to avoid the fiscal cliff by closing loopholes and deductions. President Obama suggested that only by completely eliminating charitable tax deductions could the Republicans increase revenues sufficiently without also increasing taxes on the wealthy as he would like to do.
President Barack Obama warned on Tuesday that Republican tax proposals could threaten the collapse of hospitals and universities benefiting from charitable deductions.
"There's been a lot of talk that somehow we can raise $800 billion or $1 trillion worth of revenue just by closing loopholes and deductions," Obama said in a Bloomberg TV interview. "The only way to do that would be if you completely eliminated, for example, charitable deductions."
Senior administration officials met with representatives of the largest charities in the country at the White House Tuesday to press their case, a White House official said.
The president and congressional Republicans are clashing over how to prevent so-called fiscal cliff year-end tax increases and spending cuts that analysts say could throw the economy into a recession. The two sides are deadlocked over Obama's insistence that tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush expire for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.
Republicans oppose any increase in tax rates, but have said they are willing to agree to $800 billion in additional revenues to help ease a massive budget deficit that both sides want to see tamed.