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

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell not yet ready to change rules for Trump nominees The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Trump to press GOP on changing Senate rules 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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump: Obama didn’t want to ‘upset the apple cart’ by investigating Russians GOP-Trump trade fight boils over with threat to cars McConnell sees Ohio in play as confidence about midterms grows   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 Grant HatchFreed American 'overwhelmed with gratitude' after being released from Venezuela Former US prisoner Josh Holt returns from Venezuela Hatch, Trump say American held in Venezuela returning to US 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 NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonPoll: 8 in 10 people in key states concerned about driverless cars Ted Cruz and Bill Nelson give NASA a reality check on privatizing International Space Station Overnight Defense: Senate confirms Haspel as CIA chief | Trump offers Kim 'protections' if he gives up nukes | Dem amendments target Trump military parade MORE (D-Fla.) and North Dakota Senate candidate Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Finance: Trump signs Dodd-Frank rollback | Snubs key Dems at ceremony | Senate confirms banking regulator | Lawmakers lash out on Trump auto tariffs Trump signs Dodd-Frank rollback Trump doesn't invite key Dems to signing ceremony on their bill MORE have said the threshold should be $1 million. Former Virginia Gov. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineParent of middle school students amid shooting: ‘This happens in high school, not here’ Kaine demands answers on Pentagon missions in Africa Lawmakers push for House floor debate on war authorization MORE (D), who is running for the Senate, prefers setting it at $500,000.

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMcConnell sees Ohio in play as confidence about midterms grows   Protect air ambulance services that fill the health care access gap in rural America Dems seek to chip away at Trump’s economic record MORE (D-Mo.) has also said she would not rule out extending all of the Bush tax rates temporarily.

Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThe Hill's Morning Report: Can Trump close the deal with North Korea? Senate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo Poll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger 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.”