Tax cut extensions get pushed through the House

For those Americans who make $250,000 are less, a permeant version of the Bush Tax Cuts may become a reality.

The House voted on the issue this afternoon and passed the bill with a vote of 234 to 188, with 12 House members not voting.

According to Jordan Fabian, a writer for The Hill, “the House narrowly passed debate rules on the proposal 213-203. The vote allows the House to move to debate and a vote on a final passage to extend only the Bush tax cuts for the middle-class, letting end the cuts for high income earners.”

The “$1.5 trillion tax-cut package that extends the middle class portions of the Bush era tax cuts and includes an adjustment to the alternative minimum tax,” said John Shaw of iMarketnews.com.

CNN states Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer, said the tax cuts would include “permanent extensions of income tax rates for the middle-class, plus tax breaks for married couples, the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit.”

Also, according to CNN, republicans feel the tax cuts should be extended to all classes and have said they will block all legislative action until the tax cuts issues are resolved.

A letter signed by all 42 Senate Republicans was sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, stating they would prevent a vote on, “any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers.”

However, according to the Associated Press, if the bill happens to pass in the House, it would fall flat in the Senate because Democrats, who propose the extension of tax cuts for the middle and lower classes, but not upper class, cannot pass the bill by themselves.

However, compromise is an option, said the Associated Press.

“Republicans and some rank-and-file Democrats want to extend the tax cuts for everyone, and the White House has left open the door for a compromise that would extend all the tax cuts for up to three years, including those for the wealthy,” said the Associated Press.

In fact, negotiations are already under way.

“Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House Budget Director Jacob Lew began holding closed-door meetings Wednesday with a group of four lawmakers from both parties to negotiate a deal on tax cuts. Those talks continue Thursday, even as the House votes on the Democratic plan,” according to the Associated Press.

While appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America” two lawmakers, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. and Dave Camp, R-Mich., who are involved in the tax negotiations did not sound optimistic about making progress on a deal.

“We’ve just begun the discussion,” said Camp. “But I think it’s so important that we prevent a tax hike, so we can get the economy moving again and get job creation going again.”

Van Hollen argued it’s also important to pass an extension of unemployment benefits for people who are about to run out.

“You have to pay for about $13 billion in emergency unemployment compensation for people out of work through no fault of their own,” he said. “But (Republicans) want a permanent extension of tax cuts for the folks at the very top, which adds $700 billion.”

Van Hollen added, “This is the kind of conversation we’ve been having up here.”
Even as the vote was taken, these talks were still in session.

With everyone in the political ring wanting their voice heard, it did not come as a surprise when speaker-designate John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he believed the whole vote was “crap,” according to Molly Kooper, a reporter for The Hill.

“I’m trying to catch my breath so I don’t refer to this maneuver going on today as chicken crap, all right,” the top-ranking House Republican said sarcastically, “but this is nonsense! We’re 23 months from the next election and the political games have already started trying to set up the next election. We have an honest conversation at the White House about the challenges that we face to get out of here. … And to roll this vote out today, it really is just … it’s what you think I was going to say,” he said.

Even the president has made his opinion heard when he said he was against an extension on tax cuts for “the wealthiest of Americans.”

During a test vote, 33 Democrats, Fabian reported, crossed party lines and voted with Republicans on the issue, including Arkansas Reps. Marion Berry and Rep. Mike Ross.

Get more information from The Hill.

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