Baucus mulls marking up extension of Bush tax cuts

“Senator Baucus is currently talking with members on both sides of the aisle about how the committee will proceed with regard to an extension of the tax cuts, and will be in close contact with them and with Leader Reid before making a decision regarding the markup,” the aide said. 

Senate Finance Republicans last week wrote Baucus urging him to host a markup on the tax cuts before the August recess to strengthen consumer confidence in the economy. 

“Until businesses and consumers can be confident that their taxes won’t rise next year, they will continue to refrain from investing, job growth will stagnate, and as a result consumer spending will remain subdued,” their letter stated. 

The Bush tax cuts are slated to expire at the end of the year. Democratic leaders have vowed to extend provisions benefiting the middle class and allow relief for the upper brackets to expire. 

Some believe the sluggish economic recovery could pressure lawmakers into extending all the Bush tax cuts, which would cost more than $1 trillion and be extremely difficult to offset. Current rules allow the middle-class tax cuts can be extended for two years without offsets, but lawmakers would have to pay for any extension to tax cuts for the wealthy. 

Baucus is expected to meet with Finance members Thursday and discuss whether or not it is feasible to host a markup on the Bush tax cuts before the August break.