Senate Passes Tax Cuts for Middle Class, Axes Cuts For Rich

By a 51-48 vote, the U.S. Senate voted to extend the Bush tax cuts on income under $250,000. The Senate also rejected a Republican-backed plan to extend all Bush tax cuts, including those on the wealthy, by a 45-54 margin.

While the vote was mostly symbolic, it showed that a majority of senators support ending the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. The vote also strengthens the hand of Democrats as they begin negotiation with the Republican-led House over the extension of the tax cuts.

The Obama administration praised the vote. “All sides agree on the need to extend the tax cuts for the middle class,” the administration said in a statement. “[T]his legislation reflects that consensus, and should not be held hostage while debating the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy.

The vote came after Senate Republicans dropped their plan to filibuster the bill, and agreed to allow the bill to come to a vote.

The Bush Tax Cuts were passed in 2001. Due to procedural hurdles, they were originally set to expire at the end of 2010. The Obama Administration agreed to extend the cuts for two years, in exchange for Republicans agreeing to end a filibuster and allow votes on ending the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and on extending unemployment insurance.

While the Republican-led House has been at odds with President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Senate, both parties will have incentive to work together. If no action is taken, all the Bush era cuts will expire at the end of the year.

All Republicans voted against the Democratic tax plan, while Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Jim Webb, D-Va., voted against it. Only one Democrat — Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. — voted for the Republican plan, while Sens. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, voted against it.

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Michael T.
Michael T5 years ago

Yes Carolyn, I agree. What a conundrum they face. Many of them have taken the Norquist pledge that there will be no taxes. While on one hand that probably meant no new bills passed that would levy taxes, on the other this showdown has been in the making for some time.

If they defeat the bill, the taxes will be restored. While they really don't care that it will also hit the middle class, it will also effect the people who keep funding their campaigns and shenanigans.

If they bend on this and pass it, ummm-ummm. My my. It will give them some points in their favor perhaps. Needless to say, they have had time to develop how to handle it. It is simply a matter of which route they take, rewrite it/alter it, vote it down outright, or pass it. It bears watching including the spin they apply to whatever route they choose.

Carolyn S.
Carolyn S5 years ago

Oh no! The House Republicans will have to do some REAL work when this bill is sent to them!

Patricia M.
Patricia M5 years ago

It is past time to undue all the irrational history of Bush, Jr. It is also high time the filthy rich pay taxes to the fullest. All of Bush's acts in office gave more liberties to Republicans & now is time to call equality not superiority. One way is to cut them off at their bank accounts.

Also, if anyone really thinks about it, there no longer is a middle class, so now what? Those who do not run corporations, star in films, are in politics are all now suffering with this economy & wondering if they can afford food, rent, or to keep a home they still have a mortgage on, or how they will pay their ever increasing property taxes...

Dr Clue
Dr Clue5 years ago

@Michael T. [Look around you Dr.C, folks who claim to believe that appear in these forums all the time]

"Claiming" to believe a thing does not prove a belief in that said, but just a willingness to say it.

Dr Clue
Dr Clue5 years ago

Jobs get eliminated in the US, not because we don't put a tax break in somebodies cracker-jacks , but rather because off-shored labor can be had for pennies on the dollar with no regulations that might discourage the practice.

Who would really believe that corporations and wealthy people upon receiving yet another prize would suddenly develop the urge to stop paying pennies on the dollar for labor?

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown5 years ago

Sarah said-"Besides, this tax increase will only fund the government for about 8 days but will eliminate about 700,000 jobs. That would really be a good move, huh?"

Where did you here that nonsense? Oh let me guess, fox news?

Stephanie Hungerford

Finally they are realizing we need to tax those that can afford to pay the taxes. While keeping the cuts for those who really cant afford it. I know it some states with a really high cost of living 250,000 that rich. For some one like me who lives off about 10,000 dollars a year those people have a lot of money. No if congress would cut their own wages and privileges so that this budget can get closer to balanced.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill5 years ago

This bill is not a legal bill. All tax bill have to originate in the house. Besides, this tax increase will only fund the government for about 8 days but will eliminate about 700,000 jobs. That would really be a good move, huh?

jo Howard
jo Howard5 years ago

A word to the wise ... don't hold your breath on this one ... the bill still must pass the House and more importantly the Republican majority of whom no doubt will turn the bill around to read ...continued tax cuts for the rich ...and tax hikes for the middle-class.
Why do we allow political fund raising campaigns? Think about it, all that money collected on election campaigns, and for what, more lies and false promises? What a sad, sad waste. The Republicans say it is not a waste… for they receive the benefit … in huge tax cuts. Are not our Politicians in the 1% group?

Past Member
Past Member 5 years ago

It is time for the American people to stand up and take back what's their's, Job's ect.. It's time to put an end to the suffering of the American people,The Tax cut's for the Wealthy Should have been taken away many year's ago,put job's money back into the Hard Working People Of America Who Struggle To Survive In These Time's..The American People Have Lost To Much to Continue to Keep Losing. It's Way Overdue,It's Time To Take Control Of The Reins,And Bring America Back To America, Period..