A key Senate Democrat, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, has added his voice to those calling for an extension of the Bush tax cuts set to expire in January.
Nelson, who has been an important vote on a number of Obama administration initiatives, said on Thursday that he backs continuing all the cuts — including those affecting the wealthiest Americans — until the economy improves.
“I support extending all of the expiring cuts until Nebraska’s and the nation’s economy is in better shape, and perhaps longer, because raising taxes in a weak economy could impair recovery,” Nelson said in a statement.
“Continuing all of the tax cuts could provide certainty for families and businesses in Nebraska and nationwide. Today, many businesses are sitting on cash because of uncertainty, which is holding back economic development across America.
“We need to focus on reducing government spending and finding offsets, where we can, because that’s the fiscally responsible thing to do.”
Sen. Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat and member of the Senate Finance and Budget panels, previously said all the tax cuts should be extended, The Hill newspaper reported.
Obama would need all 59 Democrats in the Senate — including Conrad and Nelson — plus at least one Republican to pass the administration’s plan to extend tax cuts for the middle class while allowing them to expire for individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and families with incomes of more than $250,000.
Also on Thursday, Obama said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he opposed extending the tax cuts for wealthier America, but he did not vow to veto legislation extending the cuts.
According to The Hill, tax experts believe the most likely scenario would be for Congress to vote to extend all the cuts in a lame-duck session after the elections.
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