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Congressional Democrats and Republicans Talk Taxes

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         Views: 1410
2006-10-11 23:03:33     
Article by Martin Lukac

The Democrats are pointing at the Republicans, and they are pointing back. Both sides of Congress took their turns portraying the other party of wanting to boost taxes for middle class American taxpayers.

A package of expired tax breaks appears to be unlikely to be reinstated before the Congress adjourns at the end of this week. The expired breaks include the popular research and development tax credit for business, college-tuition relief, deductions for sales taxes in some states and deductions for teachers who purchase classroom supplies for their classes.

"If the president would expend as much energy pushing for the tax extenders as he does for estate tax benefits for the 7,500 wealthiest families, millions of Americans would avoid a tax increase when these laws expire," said Representative Charles Rangel of New York, the senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Republicans had tried to tie the popular bi-partisan tax breaks to the controversial legislation to premanently lower federal estate taxes. The "trifecta bill" failed to clear the Senate earlier this year.

Republicans have been blocking attempts by Senator Max Baucus of Montana, senior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, to bring up only the expired breaks on their own. They insist the package will include the estate-tax relief.

Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, attempted to bring new consideration to the trifecta bill on Tuesday. The trifecta also included a proposed increase in the minimum wage. The move was met by parliamentary objection by the Democrats.

"We see it again, a bill that's been debated and considered for many, many months, a bill that a press ocnference was held this very day saying we need to pass a major portion of it," said DeMint. "Yet, at every turn, there's blocking."

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