During this lame duck period, the U.S. House of Representatives, in the final days of Democratic control, passed an extension Thursday of Bush-era tax cuts for the lower and middle classes, while letting the tax cuts for the wealthiest expire.
The measure, which passed 234-188, is expected to die in the Senate, where Republicans have the votes to block it. Republicans say that allowing any tax rates to rise would threaten the economy. Some believe that a compromise would be struck that would extend the cuts one to three years.
Democrats say Republicans are willing to jeopardize low rates for middle and lower income taxpayers to ensure low taxes for the wealthiest Americans.
Senator Jim DeMint says many industries are out there with money to spend for expansion that will grow the economy and create jobs, but they are taking a wait-to-see approach to see what Congress is going to do before the Bush-era tax cuts expire on December 31. A vote by the Senate on the House measure could come as early as Friday, but more likely will take place next week.
DeMint says temporary fixes won’t work to create jobs because businesses cannot properly plan for growth when they don’t know what the long term tax structure will look like.