DO YOU THINK A DEAL IS GOING TO GET DONE BEFORE THE YEAR END?
By Michael O'Brien
updated 8/2/2012 8:21:54 AM ET 2012-08-02T12:21:54
Print Font: +-The House on Wednesday evening rejected a proposal to allow tax cuts on the wealthy to expire, instead passing an alternative bill to preserve existing tax rates for a year, an act of political theater setting up a contentious post-election fight.
The Republican-controlled House voted 256 to 171 to preserve current tax rates, which were first enacted by President George W. Bush in 2001 and later extended in 2010 for another two years with President Barack Obama's support.
In a separate vote, the House shot down, 170 to 257, a Democratic bill to extend current tax rates past the end of this year only for households earning less than $250,000 per year and individuals earning less than $200,000 per year. This plan has the current backing of the president, and was approved last week by the Senate. Nineteen Democrats joined a unanimous GOP conference on the vote.
WHITE HOUSE TO BOEHNER : Obamacare Not Part Of Fiscal Cliff Deal
The White House and congressional Democrats are balking at the idea, floated by House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday, that changes to the president's signature health care law should be on the table during lame-duck talks over taxes and the deficit.
An administration official told The Huffington Post that the president would oppose involving the Affordable Care Act in the negotiations taking place to stave off the so-called "fiscal cliff." A top Senate Democratic aide called the idea "absolutely" a non-starter.
"And they know that, so its counterproductive to even offer it," the aide added.