By Jerry Cornfield
As expected, the U.S. House of Representatives voted along party lines today to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts for those earning up to $200,000 a year. Those tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year.
Here's the breakdown of the 234-188 vote and here's a story on how House Dems know their bill can't pass the Senate but may prod talks on a compromise.
Washington Democratic U.S. Reps. Jay Inslee and Rick Larsen issued statements following the vote.
"This is the right thing to do for working families," said Rep. Inslee. "Under this bill, every American gets a tax cut for the money they make up to $250,000. My Republican colleagues want to hold these tax cuts hostage until we hand out millionaire bonuses. America should not negotiate with hostage takers. That's unacceptable. We should exhibit with the bipartisan agreement we have -- extension of the middle class tax cuts. Our nation can't afford to balloon the deficit by $700 billion."
And Larsen said:
"Today, I supported immediately extending tax cuts for middle class families.
"Middle class families need this financial relief and will actually use the tax break to spend money and help fuel our local economy. "While I support an immediate tax cut for middle class families, I cannot support a proposal that will blow a $700 billion hole in the national debt just to cut taxes for people who make over $250,000.
"I heard a loud and clear message from folks in Northwest Washington this fall: "get control of the debt.' I am working to find the right balance between extending the tax cuts to the middle class and controlling the exploding federal debt and deficit."