Obama: Give Olympians a tax break on their medals

Women's super combined medalists, from left, Nicole Hosp of Austria, silver, Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, gold, and Julia Mancuso of the United States, bronze, pose with their medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

President Barack Obama thinks American Olympians returning home from Sochi with a medal shouldn’t have to pay income taxes on their gold, silver or bronze haul, the White House said Thursday.

Roll Call reported that Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., has introduced legislation that would give Olympians who reach the podium a break by excluding their medals when they calculate their individual taxable income. The measure has bipartisan support — Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and New York’s Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, back the proposal.

What about Obama? He supports the idea in principle, as he did in 2012, White House spokesman Bobby Whithorne told Yahoo News.

“The president believes we should support efforts to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to honor and support our Olympic athletes who have volunteered to represent our nation at the Olympic Games. We still support this effort.”

Two years ago, the legislation never made it to the president’s desk. But between Thune’s bill and a companion offered in the House by Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, it may fare better this time around.