19 February 2013
US President Barack Obama is due to push at the White House for more tax revenue to avert spending cuts due to take effect next month.
He will be joined by emergency workers, who could be hit if the $85bn (£55bn) “sequester” is cut from the budget.
The president is expected to also offer targeted spending cuts, supporting a proposal similar to that outlined by Senate Democrats last week.
Mr Obama has just returned from a three-day golf trip in Florida.
Over the weekend, the president played a round of golf with Tiger Woods.
‘Blocking tax reform‘
Congressional Republicans gave a frosty reception to the Senate’s budget plan last week.
They point out that Mr Obama already won a revenue increase in the new year, when Congress allowed taxes to rise on families making more than $450,000 annually.
Democrats have suggested increasing revenues by closing some tax loopholes, including tax breaks for the oil and natural gas industry, for businesses that have outsourced labour and ensuring millionaires pay a tax rate of at least 30%.
The Democratic plan does not include any changes to costly federal programmes such as Medicare and Social Security.
Many Republicans have supported the idea of closing some loopholes – but they say the changes should be part of a broader overhaul of the tax code, not a way to plug spending gaps.
“Loopholes are necessary for tax reform,” said Paul Ryan, chairman of the House budget committee and last year’s Republican vice-presidential candidate.