White House: CBO Report Shows 'Urgent Need' For Congressional Action

The White House is pointing the finger at Republicans in Congress after the Congressional Budget Office warned that the looming "fiscal cliff" could push the economy into recession.

Today's report "reinforces the urgent need" for House Republicans to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class, the White House said in a written statement from press secretary Jay Carney. "Instead of doing the right thing, Republicans in Washington have chosen to double down on the same failed policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place. They're willing to hold the middle class hostage unless we also give massive new tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires - tax cuts we can't afford that would do nothing to strengthen the economy."

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The administration is also calling on lawmakers to "act right now" to replace the impending spending cuts with balanced deficit reduction. The CBO report found that the combination of tax increases, set to take effect in January, and spending cuts, part of the compromise budget measure agreed to last year after lawmakers failed to reach a deficit-reduction plan, would result in higher unemployment if Congress does not act.

In a statement, the Romney campaign said today's report is an indictment of the president's economic policies "that have resulted in overspending, increasing debt, and a growing financial burden on the next generation."