Senate to Vote on Tax Cut Deal

Senate on Wednesday will vote on a tax cut deal worked out last week between President Obama and Republican leaders just days before Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire.
If the measure passes, as expected, it will then head to a House full of Democrats who are still angry over the deal Obama made, with the caucus voting last week to oppose it unless changes are made.
Under the initial agreement Obama and GOP leaders agreed to extend the cuts to all income levels, place the inheritance tax at 35 percent on estates of $5 million or more, and roll back the payroll tax that funds Social Security by 2 percent, from 6.2 to 4.2 percent, for two years. They also agreed to extend unemployment benefits.
Democrats were especially angry about the estate tax provision and extending the cuts to Americans who earn more than $250,000 a year. But in the end, many Democrats realize the writing is on the wall and don’t want to be responsible for raising taxes on Americans come Jan. 1, especially while the economy is still teetering.
“There’s a political reality here. We can jump up and down all we want about the higher-end estate taxes, and I don’t think anything’s going to change because the Senate isn’t going to change it,” Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., said.
Obama urged quick passage of the deal.
“I know there are different aspects of this plan to which members of Congress on both sides of the aisle object. That’s the nature of compromise,” Obama said Tuesday. “But we worked to negotiate an agreement that’s a win for middle-class families and a win for our economy, and we can’t afford to let it fall victim to either delay or defeat.”
Obama said over the weekend that the hikes, if they come, will mean higher tax bills of about $3,000 on average for most Americans.
The Senate has scheduled a vote on the measure for early afternoon. After clearing a procedural vote by 85-15 yesterday, analysts said they expect the bill to pass easily today.

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