House GOP to Uber-Rich: We’ve got your back on taxes for another year
The House on Wednesday evening rejected a proposal to allow tax cuts on the wealthy to expire, instead passing an alternative bill to preserve existing tax rates for a year, an act of political theater setting up a contentious post-election fight.
The Republican-controlled House voted 256 to 171 to preserve current tax rates, which were first enacted by President George W. Bush in 2001 and later extended in 2010 for another two years with President Barack Obama’s support.
In a separate vote, the House shot down, 170 to 257, a Democratic bill to extend current tax rates past the end of this year only for households earning less than $250,000 per year and individuals earning less than $200,000 per year. This plan has the current backing of the president, and was approved last week by the Senate. Nineteen Democrats joined a unanimous GOP conference on the vote.
The vote virtually ensures that the fate of the expiring tax cuts won’t be decided until after the election. Though House GOP leaders wrote Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday to say they “stand ready to bring the House back into session for the purpose of enacting solutions” as it relates to taxes or the automatic defense cuts set for Jan. 1, leaders in both parties have conceded that a truce unlikely.