Good news for American athletes on a gold rush in London: President Barack Obama backs legislation that would scrap federal taxes on Olympic Games medals and prize money, the White House said Monday.
"The president believes that we should support efforts -- like, I think the bill you are referencing -- to ensure that we are doing everything we can to honor and support our Olympic athletes who have volunteered to represent our nation at the Olympic Games," press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
Carney was referring to legislation offered by Republican Senator Marco Rubio to exempt American winners from federal taxes on their gold, silver or bronze — and the cash prizes that come with the medals.
"He supports that bill. If it were to get to his desk he would support it," Carney said.
Medal-winners in London scoop up cash prizes -- $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze — and the U.S. Olympic Committee pays for medals as well. Some individual sports' national associations also have cash rewards. The bill would not apply to some of the biggest and most visible Olympics-related paydays: Corporate sponsorships.