The Senate has voted to approve a Democratic bill renewing tax cuts next year for all but the highest-earning Americans.
The partisan 51-48 vote was a victory for Democrats and averted what would have been a campaign-season embarrassment for them and the White House. The bill closely follows the tax-cutting vision of President Barack Obama.
The measure would extend tax cuts in 2013 that otherwise would expire in January. It would deny those reductions to individuals making over $200,000 and couples earning at least $250,000.
Democrats said omitting the rich from the reductions was an equitable way for the wealthy to contribute to deficit-reduction efforts. Republicans say the higher levies would hurt job creation because many of the wealthy own companies.
The bill will go nowhere in the GOP-run House. (AP)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued the following statement after Senate Democrats passed legislation to extend tax cuts for middle class families on income up to $250,000.
"The Senate passed a plan that will cut taxes for 98 percent of Americans and protect middle-class families in Nevada and across the country from the fiscal cliff. The Senate plan is the only solution that stands a chance of being signed into law to provide middle-class families security. Our colleagues in the House should take up our plan and pass it immediately. There is absolutely nothing stopping House Republicans from passing the Senate's plan, if they possessed the courage to do the right thing for middle class families.
"To date, Republicans have insisted on holding middle-class families hostage to additional tax giveaways for millionaires and billionaires. Democrats believe we should focus on the middle class, but we have months to debate the right approach to tax policy. In the meantime, the responsible approach is for Republicans to stand up to the Tea Party, meet Democrats on common ground and pass these tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans."
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:16 AM EDT2013-05-25 06:16:04 GMT
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