House Democrats introduce middle-class tax cut bill

Under the bill, income tax rates along with capital gains and dividends rates would increase to pre-2003 and pre-2001 levels for those in higher tax brackets. The capital gains rate would revert to the pre-tax cut rate of 20 percent, and the dividend rate would revert to pre-tax cut ordinary income rates.

“Provisions in this bill represent a view that Democrats and Republicans share — we must give these middle-class families certainty by extending this expiring relief," Levin said in a statement. "We must not let congressional Republicans hold these families hostage while they insist on extending expensive tax cuts for the wealthiest few."

House and Senate Democrats and Republicans have agreed to "patch" the alternative minimum tax (AMT) before the end of the year. A two-year patch is included in this bill. 

The measure also extends the child tax credit, marriage penalty relief, the earned income tax credit, deduction of student loan interest and other education incentives.

The bill also would allow small businesses to write off equipment costs up to $125,000 that would be phased out once capital expenditures exceed $500,000, at a cost of $25.4 billion over 10 years.