Treasury secretary in domestic spotlight

Nov. 11, 2006 at 11:07 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. is seeking economic common ground for the Republican White House and upcoming Democratic Congress.

Lawmakers said tax breaks for the middle class, an increase in the minimum wage and simplification of the tax code were high on the domestic economic agenda, the New York Times said. Restoring stability of Social Security and Medicare also are up for discussion.

Internationally, Paulson, the former head of Goldman Sachs, is pursuing economic agreements with China and other trading partners, the Times said.

Paulson has said any economic solution would have to be bipartisan, no matter who won the election. But to get to next year, he must first negotiate a lame-duck Congress that convenes Monday.

"I have every reason to believe that Paulson will have some influence with the president," Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., the presumed chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told the Times.

White House chief of staff Joshua Bolton said an "opportunity for some renaissance of bipartisanship" exists now that the elections are over. Bolton called Paulson "an important ingredient" in the process.

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