House Democrats file discharge petition on middle-class tax cut bill


Accusing Republicans of holding the middle-class “hostage”, House Democrats on Tuesday filed a discharge petition in an attempt to force a vote to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle-class. 

If Democrats can collect 218 signatures on the petition, then S. 3412 – the Middle-Class Tax Cut Act approved by the Senate in July – would be allowed to go the House floor for a vote, bypassing the House Republican leadership. The Democrats will need at least 26 Republicans to sign the discharge petition for it succeed.

“We only need a couple dozen Republicans to sign the discharge petition. Each one of them holds the key to a $2,000 tax cut for the middle-class,” said Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “Either sign the petition, urge the Speaker to bring the bill to the floor, or explain to your constituents why you do not want them to have this $2,000 tax break for 100% of the American people.”

The Senate bill extends the Bush-era tax cut for the first $250,000 of income for everyone but allows the tax rate for the top 2% of income earners to return to the Clinton-era rate of about 39.4% (from the current 35%).

“100% of the American people – would benefit from it. 100% of taxpayers, small businesses, and wage earners and the rest,” Pelosi pointed out.

House Republicans have opposed the Senate’s bill, arguing that the Bush-era tax cuts should be extended for everyone, including the very wealthy.

“The Republicans are saying that rather than passing that they want to hold it hostage to giving an additional tax cut to people making over $250,000 a year,” said Pelosi. “That’s not negotiating. That’s hostage-taking.” Unless Congress extends the tax cuts, the average household will pay about $2,000 more in taxes next year.

“Why, my Republican colleagues, can we not vote on something where we have agreement, where we have fairness, that will work to create jobs, to reduce the deficit, and, again, have fairness,” she asked.


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