Reid rejects GOP request to vote on Obama’s tax plan

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThis obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all Sharron Angle to challenge GOP rep in Nevada Fox's Watters asks Trump whom he would fire: Baldwin, Schumer or Zucker MORE (D-Nev.) on Wednesday rejected a Republican request to vote on President Obama’s income tax plan amid defections within his caucus on tax policy.

Reid appeared exasperated by the Republican request to vote on extending the Bush-era tax rates when Democrats would prefer to focus this week on a small-business tax package estimated to create 1 million jobs.

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“When I came here this morning, I repeat for the third time, I asked what business was before this body. Small-business jobs bill,” Reid said. “There has been a direct attack on that legislation by saying, 'Let’s do something else. Let’s not do this right now.' "

Reid was responding to a request by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellThe Memo: Winners and losers from the battle over health care GOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support MORE (R-Ky.) to vote on Obama’s tax plan, which would extend the Bush tax rates for families earning less than $250,000, alongside a Republican proposal to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax rates for one year.

“The Senate should make itself clear which policy it supports. This is our chance to do it,” said McConnell.

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchOvernight Finance: US preps cases linking North Korea to Fed heist | GOP chair says Dodd-Frank a 2017 priority | Chamber pushes lawmakers on Trump's trade pick | Labor nominee faces Senate US Chamber urges quick vote on USTR nominee Lighthizer Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing MORE (Utah), the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, accused Democrats of filibustering the president’s tax plan.

“They are filibustering their own bill. So what does that tell us? Here’s what it tells us. It tells us that the president’s tax increase plan is not just an economic disaster; it is a political loser,” Hatch said.

Senate Democratic leaders are worried about potential defections within their caucus on taxes.

At least seven Democratic senators have declined to rule out supporting a temporary extension of the Bush-era income tax rates.

Several Senate Democrats running for reelection and Democratic Senate candidates have balked at Obama’s proposal to extend income tax rates only for families earning below $250,000.

Sen. Bill NelsonBill NelsonThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Overnight Tech: Senate votes to eliminate Obama internet privacy rules | FCC chief wants to stay out of 'political debate' on fake news | Wikileaks reveals new CIA docs FCC chairman: Whether NY Times, CNN, NBC are 'fake news' is a ‘political debate’ MORE (D-Fla.) and North Dakota Senate candidate Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support Overnight Finance: Senators spar over Wall Street at SEC pick's hearing | New CBO score for ObamaCare bill | Agency signs off on Trump DC hotel lease The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE have said the threshold should be $1 million. Former Virginia Gov. Tim KaineTim KaineSenators demand Pentagon action after nude photo scandal RNC drops six-figure ad buy for Supreme Court, healthcare fight Lawmakers want Trump commitment to help Iraq post-ISIS MORE (D), who is running for the Senate, prefers setting it at $500,000.

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support Overnight Defense: General warns State Department cuts would hurt military | Bergdahl lawyers appeal Trump motion | Senators demand action after nude photo scandal The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (D-Mo.) has also said she would not rule out extending all of the Bush tax rates temporarily.

Sen. Robert MenendezRobert MenendezSteve Mnuchin, foreclosure king, now runs your US Treasury Senate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order Senators to Trump: We support additional Iran sanctions MORE (D-N.J.) told NJ Today that he disagrees with Obama’s plan to allow tax rates to increase for families earning over $250,000.

“I mean in New Jersey, if you’re a police sergeant and a schoolteacher husband and wife, $250,000 is not quite the level. So I’d like to raise the level as I’ve advocated for in the past,” he said. “But I think that after we raise the level, keeping it for that middle class universe is what’s important.”