On Friday, the House passed H.R. 4853, the so-called middle class tax cuts bill 234-188, essentially along a party-line vote with 20 Democrats joining Republicans to oppose the bill and 3 Republicans supporting it.
This bill would extend many provisions contained in the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cut legislation, but would hike taxes on small business owners and families with incomes of greater than $250,000.
The middle class tax cuts bill would permanently extend the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and a two year alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch. Finally, it would also spend an additional $100 billion on stimulus provisions through tax welfare subsidies.
The Senate as expected voted against this legislation on Saturday. The Baucus amendment would have extended unemployment insurance for a year, extended many provisions contained in the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cut legislation, and increased taxes on small business owners and families with incomes of greater than $250,000. This failed to garner the needed 60 votes (53-36) with four Democrats and one Independent joining the Republicans [Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin), Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) and Jim Webb (D-Virginia)] and 11 Republicans not voting.
In addition, the Senate also voted on a Schumer amendment which would have extended the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cut legislation to those making less than $1 million. This vote also failed 53-37.
Senator McConnell was able to keep the Republican caucus together (although 11 Republicans did not vote) to ensure that all Americans receive a tax cut during this tough economic time.
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