By Jay Heflin - 10/18/10 11:29 PM EDT
"Though the Chamber weighs in on a wide range of legislative issues, the impending tax hikes have spurred the most grassroots outreach since the healthcare debate," it stated.
Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly vowed that the so-called Bush middle-class tax cuts would be extended at least through next year. But Republicans and several rank-and-file Democrats have raised concerns that tax increases on the top two brackets would hinder an already weak economic recovery.
"At a time when we are experiencing lackluster economic growth, raising taxes on small businesses makes no sense," said Bruce Josten, the Chamber's executive vice president of government affairs, in prepared remarks. "Extending current tax rates for all taxpayers would boost consumer spending, bolster businesses, relieve the tremendous sense of uncertainty paralyzing businesses of all sizes and help create jobs."
Congress is expected to debate the fate of the Bush tax cuts in the lame-duck session. Sources expect gridlock over the issue will either force Democratic leaders to allow a vote on extending all the tax cuts, or delay action on the issue until next year.
President Obama could also sign an executive order adjusting the tax withholding tables to reflect the changes sought by Democratic leaders, several sources have told The Hill. Some consider the move risky if Republicans take control of either the House or Senate and eventually have to approve the order.