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|UPDATE:Rep Cantor: Sets Vote On Extending Bush Tax Cuts 'Before We Leave For August' |
Last update: 5/25/2012 12:37:25 PM
-House majority leader plans vote on Bush tax cuts 'before we leave for August'
-Earlier, house speaker had said vote would occur before November elections
-Vote Will allow GOP to lay down marker on taxes in buildup to elections
(Updates with more background throughout.)
By Siobhan Hughes Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) has set a vote on extending the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts "before we leave for August," the first time House Republicans have set a clear timetable for beginning action on the tax cuts that are at the heart of their party's agenda.
"Before we leave for August, I expect to schedule a vote on legislation preventing the largest tax increase in history," Cantor wrote in a Friday memo to fellow House Republicans. The House is currently slated to leave for its August recess on Aug. 3.
Republicans, who traditionally have an edge with voters on tax policy, are trying to reclaim the advantage in the buildup to the November elections and the GOP presidential nominating convention in August. House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) had earlier said that a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts would take place before the November elections. The agenda laid out on Friday gives Republicans time to set down a marker even earlier, and draw a contrast with Senate Democrats, who have resisted renewing all the Bush tax cuts but who have yet to lay out a timetable or plan for dealing with the year-end tax-cut expiration.
"The Senate should join us in providing this very basic level of certainty prior to November," Mr. Cantor wrote.
That is unlikely to happen because the two parties are far apart on the appropriate level and composition of taxation. Republicans want to continue the lower rates enacted under former President George W. Bush, including lower individual-income-tax rates and a reduced 15% rate on dividends and capital gains. President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats want higher earners to pay more, saying that the wealthier must do their fair share to deal with the country's deficit.
Earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that if Congress fails to act, the U.S. economy will enter a recession next year, with a 1.3% annual rate of contraction in the first half of 2013. It also said that if Congress extended current policy without "comparable restraint in future years," federal debt levels would balloon, leading to negative consequences include higher interest payments and less ability to use tax and spending policies to respond to economic challenges.
-By Siobhan Hughes, Dow Jones Newswires; (202) 862-6654; email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 25, 2012 12:37 ET (16:37 GMT)
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