ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports:
In case there was any doubt at all, well, now it’s official – Senate Democrats have decided to punt an extension of Bush tax cuts until the lame-duck session in November.
“Democrats believe we must permanently extend tax cuts for the middle-class before they expire at the end of the year, and we will. Unfortunately, to this point we have received no cooperation from Republicans to do so,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley said in a statement. “Democrats will not allow families in Nevada and across the country to suffer or be held hostage by Republicans who would rather give tax giveaways to millionaires and corporations that ship jobs overseas. We will come back in November and stay in session as long as it takes to get this done.”
The Senate is set to leave Capitol Hill at the end of next week for some last-ditch campaigning before the mid-terms, not to return until mid-November.
The Democrats’ decision to put off the debate on tax cuts comes as no surprise. Earlier today the Senate’s number-two Democrat Dick Durbin told reporters, “The reality is nothing’s going to happen before the elections.”
“The reality is we are not going to pass what needs to be passed to change this, either in the Senate or in the House before the election,” Durbin said after a caucus meeting in the Capitol.
Democrats want to extend the Bush tax cuts for individuals making under $200,000 a year and couples making under $250,000, while Republicans want to extend them for all Americans. The tax cuts are set to expire on January 1.