The House of Representatives voted to extend tax cuts under the President George W. Bush era but not for wealthy Americans under the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010.
The legislations extends the end-of-the-year deadline on the tax cuts for individuals who earn less than $200,000 a year and couples who earn less than $250,000.
On Thursday, the 234-188 vote was mostly along party lines with all but three Republican members voting against the bill. Twenty Democrats also voted no. Those opposed said all Americans, including the very rich, needed to see the tax cuts extended.
The vote lacked any real meaning, since the proposal has little chance of passing the Senate on Saturday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, pushed the vote as a way to make Republicans take a possibly embarrassing stand against extending the tax cuts for at least some Americans. The Obama Administration is working on a deal with Replublicans to temporarily extend “all tax cuts” for another year or two.
Pelosi spoke to the House supporting the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010, stating, “Now what our Republican colleagues are saying is—we know they must support tax relief for the middle class, right? In addition, this is tax relief for every income filer where everyone gets a tax break. Well what they are saying is, ‘Unless you give an additional tax break to the wealthiest people in our country, adding to the deficit and not creating jobs, we are not going to vote for middle-income tax cuts.’ As Mr. Hoyer said, ‘Holding the middle-income families of America hostage for a tax cut for the wealthiest.’
“No one thinks this proposal was serious; it’s a complete waste of time,” said Daniel Clifton, head of policy research for Strategas Research Partners. “It was simply intended to send a message to the Democratic base: Democrats are for the middle class and Republicans are for millionaires.”
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, quickly criticized the political maneuvering with harsh language.
“I am trying to catch my breath so I don’t to refer to this … as, uh, chicken crap, all right?” Boehner said. “We are 23 months from the next election, and the political games already have started trying to set up the next election.”
Republican argued not extending the tax cuts permanently for all citizens would cause additional stress on Americans who are already struggling financially. Unless the tax cut is approved by the Senate and a compromise is reached, all Americans can expect a tax increase next year.