- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Republicans scored one of their first victories of the new Congress on Tuesday when the White House signaled it was abandoning a plan that would have raised taxes on a popular college-savings plan.

The proposal would have affected so-called “529” savings plans by making them subject to ordinary taxation. Among the 12 million students who are beneficiaries of the plan are Malia and Sasha Obama, the president’s daughters.

But Republicans objected vociferously, pointing out that the plan benefited millions of middle-class families and saying the proposal ran counter to Mr. Obama’s plan to cut taxes for ordinary Americans, not to mention the free community-college program that he was simultaneously pushing.

White House officials said Tuesday they were withdrawing the proposal, indicating it had become a distraction.

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, hailed the news.

“I’m glad President Obama has decided to listen to the American people and withdraw his tax hike on college savings,” Mr. Boehner said. “This tax would have hurt middle-class families already struggling to get ahead.”

He urged the president to support a bill expand the savings plan instead.

“This is also an opportunity for the president to reconsider his threats to veto common-sense jobs bills, like the Keystone XL pipeline and restoring the 40-hour workweek,” Mr. Boehner said.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Mr. Obama’s retreat was “welcome news for millions of families and an embarrassing blow to his agenda.”

“Democrats are in real trouble heading into 2016 if they think raising taxes on middle class families counts as ‘middle class economics,’” Mr. Priebus said. “The fact Nancy Pelosi said ‘no’ to a tax increase shows how unserious the president’s proposals have become.” 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, had reportedly urged the White House to abandon the proposal.


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