In back-to-back votes on Wednesday, the House rejected President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on top earners, and passed a GOP plan to extend the full array of Bush tax cuts benefitting all taxpayers.
19 Democrats voted with Republicans to kill the president’s plan, which narrowly cleared the Senate last week under a suspension of the rules. The final tally was 170-257.
Minutes later, the House approved the Republican measure to keep the current tax cuts in place for another year by a vote of 256-171. Again, 19 Democrats broke with their party to vote with the GOP. One Republican, Rep. Timothy Johnson (R-Ill.), voted no.
The bill, which was defeated by the Senate last week, has very little chance of becoming law anytime soon. Democrats say it represents a give-away to the rich that would also add billions to the nation’s deficit. Meanwhile, Republicans, along with a handful of Democrats, have dismissed Obama’s plan, arguing that it would raise taxes on small business owners. Some Democrats have signaled a willingness to support a plan that features a higher cut-off than $250,000 per year.
Essentially, both of today’s votes give lawmakers on both sides material to campaign on during their five-week summer recess, which begins Saturday.