Tags: Democrats Might Postpone Vote on Bush-Era Tax Cuts

Democrats Might Postpone Vote on Bush-Era Tax Cuts

Thursday, 23 Sep 2010 03:46 PM

Democrats in the U.S. Senate are likely to postpone a vote on extending tax cuts until after the November congressional elections, as some lawmakers fear the issue could hurt their re-election chances.

As they headed into a meeting to discuss the issue, several Senate Democrats said they did not think they would vote on it in the weeks before the Nov. 2 election.

"I actually think a vote on taxes before the election is a mistake because the message can be manipulated," Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said.

Democratic Senators Jay Rockefeller and Byron Dorgan said they expected Congress would take up the issue after the election.

"I'd like to have it, but I don't think it's going to happen" before November, Rockefeller said.

Senator Max Baucus, the Senate Finance Committee chairman drafting a bill to extend tax cuts for all but the wealthiest taxpayers, told reporters earlier he would like a vote before the elections but there was no agreement in the party to do so.

President Barack Obama and most of his fellow Democrats want tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush to be extended only for the first $200,000 of a person's income, or the first $250,000 of a household's income, saying the country cannot afford the cuts for higher earners.

Republicans want the lower rates renewed for all Americans, regardless of income, and say that losing the cuts would hurt small businesses and job creation just as the economy is recovering from its worst recession since the 1930s.

Voter anger over the weak economic recovery has produced heavy headwinds for Democrats ahead of the congressional elections in which Republicans are expected to make big gains and possibly regain control of Congress.

Baucus had been expected to release a draft bill this week that reflected the Democrats' proposal.

But he faces some defiant Democrats who are calling for all of the tax rates to be extended. A handful of Democrats in the Senate and more than a dozen in the House support the Republican plan -- and they have been vocal about it.

At the same time, the Senate is supposed to adjourn at the end of next week, and some lawmakers are antsy to get home to campaign. Others don't know if voting just to extend the lower rates for some individuals will be a political winner.

The debate over income taxes has diverted attention from a major issue for investors -- tax rates on capital gains and dividends also could rise if Congress does not act.

This week, more than 40 House Democrats sent a letter to House leaders calling for extension of the Bush-era tax rates of 15 percent on capital gains and dividends, according to sources familiar with the matter. Obama's plan is to raise them to 20 percent for high-end earners.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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Democrats in the U.S. Senate are likely to postpone a vote on extendingtax cuts until after the November congressional elections, as somelawmakers fear the issue could hurt their re-election chances. As they headed into a meeting to discuss the issue, several...
Democrats Might Postpone Vote on Bush-Era Tax Cuts
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2010-46-23
Thursday, 23 Sep 2010 03:46 PM
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