President Barack Obama will hold a previously unscheduled Cabinet meeting on Wednesday on the economy and will later make a statement on the tax cut debate and the small-business jobs bill advancing in the Senate.
The White House announced the addition to Obama’s schedule earlier Wednesday. The president’s statement will come just as Members get back to work after a five-week recess and find themselves embroiled in a debate over extending the Bush-era tax cuts.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs downplayed Democratic divisions over whether to extend all the Bush tax cuts versus just those for the middle class. The president has been firm in his support for extending only the tax cuts to the middle class, but during a Wednesday sit-down with reporters, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) echoed the sentiments of some Democratic moderates that extending all tax cuts for a year may be an option.
“We are a big party and I don’t doubt that there will be differing viewpoints,” Gibbs said during a briefing. “Whether or not this gets solved in the next couple of weeks, during this session, whether it gets kicked over to the lame duck, I don’t know the answer to that.”
The White House spokesman also said not to expect a Wednesday announcement from the president about whether he will name Elizabeth Warren as the first head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
However, news on that front “could come later this week,” Gibbs said.