Sources: Baucus may introduce compromise package on tax cuts
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is considering introducing a tax package by the end of the week that would include a two-year extension of all the Bush-era tax cuts, sources told The Hill on Tuesday.
The package, which could include the estate tax and other expired tax provisions, may smooth the passage of a compromise bill before the 2001 and 2003 income tax cuts expire at year’s end.
Senate Democrats will need the support of their entire caucus and several Republicans to push through a tax bill. Several Democrats have urged an extension of all the expiring tax breaks while the economy is still recovering from the recession.
Earlier Tuesday, Baucus said he expects to “get down to serious discussions later this week.”
Meanwhile, Obama administration officials announced tonight that a scheduled meeting this week with congressional leaders would be postponed to Nov. 30 “due to scheduling conflicts in organizing their caucuses.”
Lawmakers aren’t expected to deal with the tax legislation until they return Nov. 29 from the Thanksgiving recess.
President Obama has expressed support for a proposal that would extend all of the tax cuts, even for families making more than $250,000 per year, a change from his previous stance of extending tax breaks for the middle-class while letting those in the upper brackets expire.
As of late, Republicans have taken a more aggressive stance on the issue, pushing for a permanent extension of all tax cuts instead of a shorter-term extension.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has pushed for a permanent extension of all the tax cuts, said Tuesday that Republicans wouldn’t agree to separate votes on middle-class tax cuts and those for the higher tax brackets.
“We’re willing to talk to the president about how long he’s willing to extend [the cuts],” McConnell said on conservative Sean Hannity’s radio show.
“There’s only one thing that’s acceptable and that’s to not raise taxes on anyone,” McConnell said.
Michael O’Brien contributed to this story.