Democrats say they will extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, but they are split about whether to extend them for the rich. So they'll make the decision after midterm elections.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
Facing a revolt from moderates in her caucus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi canceled votes on the issue Friday. Last week, 31 Democrats signed a letter urging the Speaker to extend the tax cuts for all Americans, including those in the top tax brackets. President Obama proposes extending the cuts only for middle-class families – that is, those that make less than $250,000 a year.
“We will retain the right to proceed as we choose and would take it one day at a time," Speaker Pelosi said Friday. "But … America’s middle class will have a tax cut. It will be done in this Congress. There is no question about that.”
On Thursday, Senate majority leader Harry Reid also announced that he is putting off a vote on extending middle-class tax cuts until after midterm elections. He blamed Republicans for failing to cooperate, but pledged to move the issue in a lame-duck session.
“Democrats believe we must permanently extend tax cuts for the middle class before they expire at the end of the year, and we will,” said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senator Reid, in a statement Thursday. “We will come back in November and stay in session as long as it takes to get this done."
Republicans said that failure to act is reckless and puts Americans at risk of one of the largest tax hikes in history in the middle of a deep economic slump.