Senate Democratic leaders decided Thursday to delay a vote on preserving soon-to-expire middle class tax cuts until after congressional elections in November.
President Obama has made the tax cuts a priority. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to delay any vote after a meeting with other Senate Democrats failed to produce a consensus on how to proceed.
"Democrats believe we must permanently extend tax cuts for the middle-class before they expire at the end of the year, and we will," Reid spokesman Jim Manley said. "Unfortunately, to this point we have received no cooperation from Republicans to do so."
Enacted in 2001 and 2003 under President George W. Bush, they were the most sweeping tax cuts in a generation. If Congress takes no action, taxpayers at every income level face significant tax increases next year.
Republicans want to extend all the tax cuts. Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress want to extend them for individuals making more than $200,000 and married couples making more than $250,000.