Republicans Try to Make Democrats Vote on Obama Tax Plan
As part of the political one-upmanship in an election year, Senate Republicans moved to call a vote on President Obama’s plan to increase the taxes on top earners and maintain the tax cuts for the middle class. But the Republican move was rebuffed by Obama’s top ally in the Senate, Harry Reid.
Reid was frustrated by the Republicans when he proposed an alternative plan. Both parties accused each other of blocking a plan to extend the Bush-era tax rates for the middle-class. The same is happening in Congress, where there’s no timetable for when an extension will passed.
Republicans tried to get Democrats on record for the president’s proposal by offering two amendments to a bill that was currently being debated to cut taxes for small businesses. One was part of Obama’s plan while the other was on Republican alternative that included extension to tax cuts of top-earners.
The move by the Republicans came two days after President Obama pushed Congress to vote on his proposal. The Democrats want to take up the president’s proposal before Congress goes into recess in August.
Without action by the legislators, wide-ranging tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush will expire on New Year’s Day. Economists say that the expiration of the tax cuts will be disastrous to the already weak economy.
Reid, the Senate Majority Leader from Nevada, blocked the votes. He said that the Senate would vote for them after it finishes the small business tax measure. He added that the Republicans should stop filibustering the tax cut for small businesses before they act on the tax cuts.
The Democrats want to focus first on the small business measure. They view it as a winning issue for them. Then they will turn to the extension of the tax cuts, which they see as an issue that can draw in the voters.