The Washington Post

Yes, the Senate will vote on Obama’s tax cut extension

One of the stories of the morning is that Senate Democrats are supposedly standing in the way of a vote on Obama’s plan to extend the tax cuts for income under $250,000.

“Senate Dems block Obama’s tax-cut bill,” Drudge blared, citing a story in the Washington Times with roughly the same headline. That seems a bit off message — isn’t Obama’s plan actually supposed to be nothing more than a tax hike? Oh well, good to see they described Obama's plan accurately.

Here’s what happened. Mitch McConnell asked for two votes, one on the GOP’s plan to extend all the tax cuts, including for income over $250,000, and another on Obama’s plan to extend the tax cuts on income just under $250,000. Reid objected. So what actually happened is that Reid didn’t want to hold a vote on both the GOP plan and Obama’s proposal.

There will, in fact, be a vote on Obama’s plan, a Reid spokesman confirms.

“There will absolutely be a vote on President Obama’s tax plan this work period,” Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson emails.

Republicans have been arguing that vulnerable Democrats won’t want this vote, and that Dems may even vote against it. How many Dems would defect? Politico yesterday quoted several Senate Democrats saying they prefer a cutoff of $1 million or $500,000, but none of them said outright that they’d vote against Obama’s plan.

If and when this does come to a vote, it will be interesting to see if any Senate Dems really vote against extending tax cuts for all income under $250,000, out of fear of being labled by Republicans as a tax hiker.

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.


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