Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lame Duck Session - #2447 - Senate Tax Bills Die on Floor - Hot Air (2) Senate Rejects Obama's Plan on Extending Tax Cuts - NY Times

To the surprise of no one, two attempts by Senate Democrats to raise taxes in the middle of economic stagnation failed to clear procedural votes this morning. As the AP noted before the votes took place, everyone knew the votes would fail. However, Senate Democrats looking nervously at a potentially difficult 2012 election wanted to get some populist credibility in place now: Their defeat on the Senate floor is predictable and the speeches have the ring of the recent campaign season. But Democrats are already eyeing the 2012 elections and eager to engineer a showdown over tax cuts in an attempt to depict Republicans as guardians of the rich. “Do we want to extend those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires at a time of huge deficits? I would argue vociferously we shouldnt,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Saturday shortly before scheduled votes. Republicans countered that no one’s taxes should be raised at a time the economy is still recovering from the a recession. “It is the most astounding theory I have ever seen, raise taxes to create jobs,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota.  Read more........  


Senate Rejects Obama's Plan on Extending Tax Cuts - New York Times - The Senate on Saturday rejected President Obama’s proposal to let tax rates rise for the highest-income Americans, as Republicans held firm in their push to continue all of the expiring Bush-era tax cuts. The White House and Congressional leaders are now discussing a deal to extend the reduced tax rates at all income levels, at least temporarily, perhaps for two years.  But with Senate Democrats and the White House badly splintered, and some lawmakers increasingly angry at the idea of sustaining President George W. Bush’s economic policies, the prospects of a compromise remained uncertain...........Mr. Obama’s preferred plan fell 7 votes short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster and advance to a simple majority vote. The vote was 53 to 36, on a bill adopted by the House on Thursday to end the cuts on income above $250,000 a year for couples and $200,000 for individuals.  Republicans voted unanimously against the House-passed bill, and they were joined by four Democrats — Senators Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jim Webb of Virginia — as well as by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut.  Read more.......

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