Greg Sargent notes that for once, the Senate Democrats out-maneuvered the Republicans.
The Senate voted just now by 51-48 to pass the Democratic plan to extend the Bush tax cuts on all income up to $250,000. That came just after the GOP plan to extend tax rates on all earners was defeated on a simple majority vote in the Senate.
To be clear: Republicans opposed the Dem plan on the grounds that it excluded only income above $250,000 earned by two percent of taxpayers.
This came after Mitch McConnell agreed this morning to majority votes on both plans, apparently because he didn’t think Harry Reid had enough votes to pass his. It’s a rare day that McConnell is outmaneuvered in the Senate. But this time, he was: Reid held on to even those vulnerable Dems in very tough races who held the line despite weeks of taunting from Republicans that supporting the Dem tax cut plan would allow GOPers to portray Dems as “tax hikers.”
The votes were mostly for show, but they made for a very good show indeed: They will clarify the choice voters face in this election. Today’s activitives [sic] kick this over to the House, where the House GOP had planned to hold a vote on its own plan to extend all the tax cuts, but will now hold one on the Dem plan to extend only the middle class ones, too.
The bill is going nowhere because the House won’t pass it, and besides, the Constitution requires that all tax bills originate in the House, and this one did not. So it was mainly for show and politics. Yip yah.