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Obama urges action on middle-class tax cuts

President Barack Obama speaks during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010. From left are, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the president, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. President Barack Obama speaks during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010. From left are, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the president, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
September 15, 2010

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WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama is applauding two Republican senators who voted for a small business bill and says he'd welcome that kind of cooperation on the divisive issue of extending tax cuts for the middle class.

Obama thanked Republicans George Voinovich of Ohio and George LeMieux of Florida for voting to move the bill closer to final passage. Speaking in the Rose Garden after a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, Obama urged lawmakers to approve an extension of Bush-era tax cuts for middle class families making less than $250,000 a year.

Obama says Republicans should stop holding those tax cuts "hostage."

Republicans are insisting that tax cuts be extended for higher-income wage earners, too. Taxes for everyone will rise next year unless Congress acts.