WASHINGTON -- Nancy Killefer, who failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help, has withdrawn her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government, the White House said Tuesday.
Killefer was the second major Obama administration nominee to withdraw and the third to have tax problems complicate their nomination after President Barack Obama announced their selection.
More recently, Timothy Geithner was confirmed as Treasury secretary despite belatedly paying $34,000 in income taxes, and Tom Daschle is still waiting to see if his late payment of more than $128,000 in income taxes will harm his nomination to be health and human services secretary.
A majority of Americans want Congress to either reject or make "major changes" to the economic stimulus package on Capitol Hill, a poll out Tuesday finds.
The Gallup poll, conducted from Friday through Sunday, found that 75 percent of Americans want Congress to pass some version of the plan, which is tagged at about $900 billion in the latest Senate package.
But the survey reflected deepening doubts about the effectiveness of the programs and spending items currently being considered by federal lawmakers. Only 38 percent of those polled favored the existing stimulus proposal, down from a slight majority holding that view in the Jan. 28 Gallup survey.
Thirty-seven percent want major changes and 17 percent reject the plan outright. The poll also found only 10 percent think the economy will improve this year as a result of the plan. Fifty-three percent said the plan will either have no effect on their families or make their financial situations worse.
The poll reflects a substantial partisan divide, with 59 percent of Democrats calling for passage without changes while 43 percent of Republicans want major changes and another 35 percent reject it outright.
The poll was based on interviews with 1,027 adults and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
A key Democratic senator told FOX News on Monday that he wants to strip "tens of billions" of dollars from the economic stimulus proposal, rejecting the White House claim that senators are complaining about just a tiny fraction of the package.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said Republicans and Democrats alike want to gut the nearly $900 billion program of items that he says will not stimulate job growth.
President Obama and his aides have downplayed disagreements over the package as it comes before the Senate for debate. Obama said Monday that "modest differences" should not stall the package, and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said GOP objections center on about $700 million worth of items -- or "seven one-hundredths of one percent" of the total package.
Not so, said Nelson.
"It's more money than that," he said. "We're talking in the billions, and tens of billions, that we're looking to exclude from this particular program."
He singled out provisions in the bill for programs like U.S. Department of Agriculture computers and medical research as items that are worth funding -- but not in a stimulus package.
Lawmakers like Nelson, along with Republican congressional leaders who are noisily slamming the program, could complicate the administration's efforts to push through the stimulus in the days ahead.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that the plan must do more to address housing and make mortgages more affordable. He said the package his colleagues would support must be "dramatically different" than the $819 billion version that passed on the House side last week without any Republican support.
"Nobody that I know of is trying to keep a package from passing," McConnell said. "We're trying to reform it."
Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold also released a statement saying the bill must not include wasteful spending and should direct funding to job-creating projects.
"Any amendments or provisions that would add to our deficit need to stimulate the economy; otherwise, they should be paid for," the senator said.
Gibbs would not say how the bill might be re-shaped on the Senate side.
"The bottom line is this -- you've got a piece of legislation that creates jobs," Gibb said. "I'm gonna leave the legislating to the legislators."
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said part of the problem for Obama is that some Democrats, and many Republicans, can't afford to vote for the measure.
"Some people will lose their jobs for voting for this measure. Nobody will be harmed by voting against it," he said.
Norquist, who vehemently opposes the stimulus package, said he expects the Senate to craft a plan that is "slightly less horrific."
Well, you can thank the democrats for doing the right-thing by trying to bailout the American people - which the republicans oppose, as always, even though they were the ones that tanked the country in the first place.
Let's try a modified, but still true version:
"Our idiot republicans legislators in CA refuse to stop blocking the passage of the budget, so here we go."
You know what makes me sick about that WH - not ONE of those lawmakers would consider a pay cut, pay freeze, or halting their checks....yet they are going to ruin countless lives by not paying those people....
California Stops Paying Many Bills
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California has stopped paying many bills after elected leaders failed to meet a self-imposed end-of-January deadline for solving the state's budget crisis.
Checks are not being issued for Cal Grant college scholarships, county social services and even the California Highway Patrol. No state tax rebates will be issued until a plan is adopted to deal with the state's huge deficit.
In addition, more than 200,000 state workers are scheduled to take two days a month off without pay starting Friday as part of a furlough plan backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
If I add taxes to the store bought games I am a tiny bit better off with the store bought games but the comfort and availability of the games on Steam justifies the small premium cost I have to pay. For instance FEAR2 is available as soon as it is released, when if I buy it from the store they might not get the game in until a few days after release day ad I still have to drive there pick it up etc.
I'll get blood on they keys
Oh no they didn't make off with the car
Hmmm... my automobile was burgled last night
Who steals loose change?
While I hear it's a decent BR player, I don't see any reason currently to upgrade my library of movies.
I don't like to think what would have happened if my favorite color was green.
Our lives aren't going to be any better because of Barack Obama.
xxx is watching an emotional moment in history...in awe...
I'm at a loss for words...
xxx is crying. And very, very proud.
xxx wishes she could get a dance with Barack!
xxx wonders how her work in the world will change in this new era.
xxx is in love with our new First Family!
And you're the 80-year-old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn. Except it's not even your lawn.
It's been great out here in Cali, it's in the 70's during the day. We must be stealing the heat from the rest of you.