Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, put a stop to rumors of a possible tax-cuts compromise today, introducing their own legislation that would maintain Bush-era tax rates for all Americans, regardless of income level.
Congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama have previously signaled support for allowing the extension of all tax cuts, with the exception of cuts for America's top earners. On Face the Nation Sunday, House Minority Leader John Boehner hinted that he would vote for Democrats' plan, but in a speech today from the Senate floor, McConnell insisted that the GOP is united and unwavering in its support for tax cuts for all income levels.
For the past 19 months, the American people have waited patiently for the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress to help them turn the economy around. And time and time again, the administration and its allies in Congress have turned a deaf ear. Rather than implement the policies that would free up capital, lead to investment, and create good, lasting, private-sector jobs, Democrats in Congress have passed one sweeping, government-driven scheme after another, then asked taxpayers to put it on their tab. ...
Americans have had it. They’re tired of Democrat leaders in Washington pursuing the same government-driven programs that have done nothing but add to the debt and the burden of government. We can’t allow this administration to demand that small business owners in this country pay for its own fiscal recklessness. And that’s why I’m introducing legislation today that ensures that no one in this country will pay higher income taxes next year than they are right now.
With a clear majority in the Senate, Democrats are not forced to put the legislation to a vote. But with a number of Democrats facing tough re-election campaigns in November, McConnell may be able to pull some bipartisan support for the bill. With enough Dem defectors, McConnell may be able to bring his bill to floor before Congress recesses again.
If Congress fails to act, the tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush will expire at the end of this year, resulting in higher tax rates for all income levels.