Dems: GOP opposing small-business tax cut to hurt Obama

The debate over the Democrats’ small-business measure has become entwined with the current back-and-forth over the Bush-era tax rates, after the president this week proposed extending the current rates for family income up to $250,000 for a year.

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Democrats are not expected to corral enough votes to push the small-business tax cut along during a Thursday vote, after Reid and McConnell spent much of Wednesday sparring over when and if the Bush tax rates should get a Senate floor vote.

Under the Democratic plan, small businesses would get 10 percent tax credits for new hires or giving existing employees raises, and a provision allowing companies to quickly write off new purchases would also be extended.

Republicans have called the Democratic proposal a stunt, because all revenue bills are supposed to originate in the House.

McConnell had asked on Wednesday that the chamber hold votes on both the Obama proposal and a measure extending all current rates. After Reid called for such a vote later on Wednesday, the Kentucky Republican declined, saying the Democratic plan had yet to be put into writing.

On Thursday, Senate Democrats said Bush tax cut proposals would get a vote before the August recess and that debating the issue for another few weeks would be an advantage for Democrats.

“The more people hear about the difference between the two, the more they side with ours,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.

And while some in the party had previously said they preferred cutting off the Bush rates at $1 million, Reid suggested Thursday that he believed Democrats would fall in line with Obama's proposal.

“One of the things I’m pretty good at around here is counting votes,” Reid said.