Ways and Means Committee Democrats recently introduced legislation identical to the middle class tax cut bill that passed the Senate last week. The measure, H.R. 15, would extend the Bush tax cuts for households with incomes up to $250,000. The Senate’s 51-48 vote approving the legislation last month put the onus on House Republicans to quickly act so that middle-income families can rest assured that their tax cuts will be extended next year. Separately, Ways and Means Democrats also introduced legislation, H.R. 16, to reinstate the 2009 Estate Tax provisions (top rate of 45%, $3.5 million exemption) providing responsible estate tax relief and ensuring 99.7 percent of decedents will face no estate tax liability. The Republican bill spends approximately $9 billion more to provide a complete exemption from the estate tax for just 3,600 additional decedents.
“There’s no question we have to pass the Senate-passed tax bill, ending the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% while extending them for everyone else,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). “It’s not right give tax breaks to billionaire hedge fund managers and CEOs that allow them to pay lower tax rates than working people. The Senate-passed bill allows us to extend the cuts for 98% of the population, help cut the deficit, and protect Medicare and education.”