Washington (CNN) – Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate have decided to move ahead with votes after Thanksgiving to extend the Bush tax cuts for those making $250,000 or less.
These decisions come hours after Democratic leaders met at the White House with President Obama, where several sources say they talked extensively about the tax cuts. Until now, how or whether Democrats would proceed on the thorny issue of extending the Bush era tax cuts was unresolved.
In the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told CNN that Democratic leaders have scheduled a vote. "At least that will be available for members to have a vote on," Hoyer said.
What is still unclear is if that House vote would extend so-called middle class tax cuts permanently, or just on a temporary basis.
In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid said he plans to vote on the middle class tax cut extension most Democrats want, but he will also allow Republicans to hold a vote on what they are demanding: a permanent extension of all Bush-era tax cuts.
"We want to give the Republicans an opportunity to vote on McConnell's legislation," Reid said. He also said he might hold multiple votes on the issue, "If we have to do it more than once, twice, to show the American people that we support the middle class."
Reid said he is not sure whether the Democrats' legislation in the Senate would be a permanent extension for those making $250,000 or less, or temporary. The Senate Democratic caucus appears to be split on that.
"We have to be very, very careful extending things indefinitely because we have to focus on what the economy might be in the future," said Reid.
It is unclear if Democrats in either chamber have enough votes to pass only the middle class tax cuts. Democratic leaders are leaving open the possibility of compromise with Republicans if their measures do not pass. In fact,
Democratic sources say Obama made clear in Thursday's meeting they may ultimately need to find a middle ground.
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D- Maryland) released a statement regarding an extension of middle class tax cuts:
“The House will vote on an extension of middle class tax cuts before they expire. Democrats are firmly committed to continuing tax cuts for middle class families on income up to $250,000. We cannot afford to add $700 billion to the deficit to benefit the wealthiest Americans with almost no economic benefit as Republicans want to do," Hoyer said in the statement.
Are Democrats finally wising up to the fact that Republicans are first and foremost looking out for the wealthy? The talk about creating jobs by extending cuts to the top 2% is just nonsense. If the richest of the rich see their taxes rise by 3% it will have no effect on the recovery. It will definitely help in deficit reduction.
Dems are a bunch of whiny babies. Obama and his merry bunch have done more to destroy the American way of life in the lady two years than any previous government. Bush and tarp 1 were also part of this distruction.
Trickle-down has never worked and will never work. It failed with Reagan and it will always fail. Dems should stop it for good now.
Anyone who earns more than $250,000 earns too much, when we have 15 million American children facing hunger.
Greed is another word for evil...
I keep hearing pollsters reporting that many "middle class" taxpayers favor extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone. Oh, why, oh why, oh why don't they ever ask the right question: "Are you willing to have your taxes go up (or go down less), in order that the "upper class" can have their taxes lower?" Because in the fullness of time, revenue must be equalized.
Extend the cuts only for the middle class. The rethugs are going down in 2012. They better enjoy DC while they can.
Let the tax cuts expire and use the money to extend unemployment benefits, which was just voted down. However keep tax breaks for child care, college tuition and dire $$ medical care expenses (no one should have to lose their home and/or file for bankruptcy for medical care).
The cuts have been in place for about 7 years (+/-). I haven't seen our economy boom as a result and it's added plenty to our debt. Time to say goodbye to the useless and expensive tax cuts - for all.
I don't understand guys what you r consider as rich first of all. And second that IT WILL NOT GONNA CHANGE for rich which is only 3% of all americans. But meanwhile "rich" are giving a lot of money for Hospitals and funds for poor people. This is NOT a socialist society where you need to take and divide between others. A lot of young americans are not working and NOT planning to work not because of economy. And most of you know it.
Hey richgopguy how about a flat tax for everyone. You pay 15% on your earnings and I'll pay 15% on my earnings but I don't think you would like that. Anyone making over 250,000 is usually incorporated so that right off everything under the sun. This tax system is a joke. That's how the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. So mr. richgopguy let's read you argument why a flat tax is not fair.
Dems, give up the ghost. Play games and you all will be swept out off office the next go around. Tea Party has long memories...we will remember.
The Republicans still believe that the "trickle down" economic policy works, whens it's been proving multiple times that it doesn't! Its only lead to hardship for the middle class on down! All it did was expose the greedy nature of the rich while many suffered. Since 2008, all that's been proven is that Republicans have no heart & the Democrats have no spine!
What a bunch of crooks, thats right keep feathering your own nests . What the excuse this time ? they'll loose the talented people ? O no thats the crock of **** wallstreet handed us . O that's right this time the bull**** is they re-invest the money back into the economy, helping us magically wipe out our country's economic woes.
98 percent of the population needs the tax break to stay. 2 percent (that hold 98 percent of the wealth) don't need it, reagan made a deal with the rich(corps) and started the decline of this country ... Leave alone pushing the war on drugs that simply imprisoned huge percentages of minorities in this country making companies like haliburton ( wich also builds prisons ) strong enough to get there puppet master of a politician cheney to influence the dirtiest Whitehouse in american history... Extend the cuts arrest bush and his cabinet ,investigate foreign political contributions(tea party),end lobbying, limit senate terms and let's get back to being an example to the world
For those in the middle class who support GOP tax cuts for the wealthy, please ask yourself: Do I make over $250K? It this going to help me, or is it just going to shelter the bonuses of the bank execs that brought this country to near economic collapse?
If the Democrats who are in office now DO NOT rally behind the President on the TAX CUT issue that are THROUGH!!!!! They will be considered PUNKS and WEAK NOODLES!!
We should GO with what President Obama campaigned on and promised and DON’T allow the RepubliCAN'Ts to intimidate us. Let them WASTE the next two years REPEALING and trying to UNDO what was DONE. They will FAIL on that as they add MORE to their list!! They are the Party of NO so what makes anyone think they are truly OPEN for Compromise.
@RichGOPGuy – this is the PROBLEM of our country. Alf of you RIGHT-WING people who blog here probably don't even make $250,000 a year and you claim all Democrats are LAZY – Give me a Break. STOP "tagging" on to the HATE and FEAR-Mongering only because you don't like who our President is now – that's what it’s about! Grow UP!!!
We need to continue to MOVE AMERICA FORWARD with our current leader, President Obama, and the Politicians should STOP early campaigning!!!
These bush tax cut that the republicans want to extend, say one thing for me is they are crazy. It has been nine years and hasn't work big business wasn't hiring, the big business were laying people like next door neighbor who lost her home, and everything she worked for. extending those for rich is crazy
I wish the right could get their story straight. Either Democrats are all lazy foodstampers or they are all fat cat union thugs. It's hard for them to make up their minds because they haven't used them in a while.
Since when is $250K "rich people." And even if they are top earners, why are they carrying the load for the "middle class?" The top 10% of earners pay 80% of the taxes in this country. ENOUGH. Its OUR money. We earned it. Yep, went to school, got an education, studied while you were chugging beer....
Do NOT cave Dems. The top 2% have had 10 years to save - and save they did. PLEASE, give the middle class a chance. You have the power, don't throw it away. 98% of the people will remember in 2012.
Has anyone considered having two separate votes on the issue? One for the middle class and one for the upper class?
Thank you for making the tough decisions the past two years. Sorry that many of you lost your jobs over it to a bunch of tards that can't tell the difference between political pandering, and making the right call.
Trickle-down has never worked and will never work. It failed for Reagan and it will always fail. Dems should stop it for good now.
I am so tired of the democrats being spineless I mean dam we the people got your back. The GOP begged for power now they have it. Lets see who they are really fighting for, force them to vote. Let the entire country see who the GOP is really fighting for.
We are against the deficit, we want tax cuts for everyone, we want to continue the war in IRAQ and Afganistan. What gives. Fighting a war (on two fronts) requires lots of money and are funded by tax revnue. Any politician that proposes to bring down the deficit without a tax increase is selling ocean front property in West Virginia. If we are truly Patriots and do not want to leave our children a ntional debt, let us all agree to pay alittle more taxes today for the sake of our children.