Senate Democrats passed a plan Wednesday to extend current tax rates for all but the top income earners — a largely political vote on a critical policy issue that will dominate much of the end-of-year legislative session.
The battle drilled down to whether to raise taxes for the rich – a resounding theme that has been central to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. Democrats want to extend tax rates for household income $250,000 and below for an additional year, while Republicans call for freezing all rates.
The vote was 51-48 to pass the Democratic plan. Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.) voted with the GOP to reject the proposal. The Republicans also got a vote on their plan to extend all the tax rates, which failed 45-54. The Democratic proposal, which had the White House’s backing, now heads to the Republican-led House, where it is dead on arrival.
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