The House on Wednesday passed legislation by a vote of 265-171 to extend the Bush-era tax cuts through 2013 for all Americans, not just those making less than $250,000 a year.
"Republicans want to preserve the Bush tax cuts across all six income brackets, ensuring that the top two rates remain at 35% and 33% next year. The party also wants to keep dividend and capital gains tax rates at 15% and the estate tax at 35% after the transfer of the first $5.1 million," the Wall Street Journal's Siobhan Hughes writes.
"The GOP has also tacked on a two-year extension of relief from the alternative minimum tax, which was intended to apply to the rich but is threatening to ensnare more Americans because it was never indexed for inflation," she adds.
The House vote is directly opposed to legislation passed last week in the Senate by a vote 51-48 that calls for tax increases on America's top earners.
"It's time to put the politics aside," said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) "Raising taxes at this point in this economy is a very big mistake."
Many analysts believe today's vote is little more than a symbolic victory for the GOP-controlled House. And they're probably not too far off in saying so.
We can expect the legislation to meet its demise once it makes its way to the Democrat-controlled Senate and falls into the hands of Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid (D-NV).
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