When it comes to taxes, there are two pathways available.

One says, if Congress fails to act by the end of the year, then everybody’s taxes automatically go up—including the 98% of Americans who make less than $250,000 a year. Our economy can’t afford that right now. You can’t afford that right now. And nobody wants that to happen.

The other path is for Congress to pass a law right away to prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of anyone’s income. That means all Americans—including the wealthiest Americans—get a tax cut. And 98 percent of Americans, and 97 percent of all small business owners, won’t see their income taxes go up a single dime.

The Senate has already passed a bill like this. Democrats in the House are ready to pass one, too. All we need is for Republicans in the House to come on board.

We shouldn’t hold the middle class hostage while Congress debates tax cuts for the wealthy. Let’s begin our work by actually doing what we all agree on. Let’s keep taxes low for the middle class. And let’s get it done soon.

President Obama