Reid Ready for Saturday Tax Cut Showdown, But Side Deal Likely
December 3, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—If you are tired of hearing about the extension of the Bush tax cuts argument, join the club. It’s been apparent for some time now, President Obama had already decided to agree on extending tax cuts for the wealthy, despite his insistence he would not back down from demanding permanent tax relief for those making under $250,000. Now, the Democrats and the White House will have to sell the “compromise” of temporarily extending the tax cuts across the board, as something less than total capitulation. It all will depend on what the Democrats get in return. Meanwhile, as the bipartisan “compromise” talks are underway, the House has already passed an extension of tax cuts just for the middle class. That measure, as well as a bill to up the tax limit to $1 million will be put to a vote on a special Saturday session, but it’s expected to face a filibuster by Republicans. After that, a deal should be hammered out that’s expected to include the extension of unemployment benefits and the continuation of tax relief from the Stimulus program.
The original Senate vote included a deal to bring a total of four measures to the floor, including the Republican measures consisting of extending all the Bush tax cuts permanently and extending them for five-years. But after Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) struck a deal, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) objected and that was the end of it.
McConnell then waltzed out of the building without a word to Reid, leaving the Majority Leader to cool his heels in McConnell’s office. By misusing the filibuster procedure, obstructing and delaying the work of the Senate, McConnell and his caucus behaves like they have the majority in the upper body.
The Hill writes:
“Democratic senators want a chance to vote on extending tax cuts for middle-class families before considering a temporary extension of all of the Bush tax cuts. They believe it’s important to put themselves and Republican senators on the record with official votes.”
“McConnell has pledged that “100 percent” of the Senate Republican conference would oppose any tax legislation that extended rates for the vast majority of families but not the nation’s wealthiest. Republicans argue that raising taxes on families earning more than $250,000 or even $1 million would put a tax burden on small businesses.”
“Considering the Democratic tax proposals over the weekend would clear the way for the Senate to take up at the beginning of next week any final deal that emerges from Geithner, Lew, and other negotiators.”
Of course, The Republicans are not telling the truth about massive tax increases on small businesses. Media Matters points out that, “according to the Tax Policy Center, a mere 2 percent of tax returns that reported small business income in 2007 are in the top two income tax brackets, which include all filers with taxable incomes of more than $250,000.”
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jack Lew are leading bipartisan tax cut negotiations on Capitol Hill that are inching along, but no deal (surrender) has been reached yet.