Schumer Silent On Bush Tax Cut Vote

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Whether or not the Senate votes on extending some (or all) of the Bush tax cuts may end up being the key to any pre-election tax cuts vote. The House is reportedly holding its fire until the Senate decides what to do, and the last thing most Democrats want is to go into the home stretch of election season with Republicans warning of a looming tax hike in 2011.

Nonetheless, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) won’t say whether there will be a vote before the Senate adjourns a week or so from now.

“It’s being discussed within our caucus now,” Schumer said at a press conference this afternoon. “Talk to leader Reid.”

TPM asked Schumer whether he personally wants Harry Reid to move on President Obama’s middle-income tax cut plan before the October recess.

“I’m not speculating,” he said.Note that these questions were raised at a press conference about the Disclose Act — the campaign finance bill Democrats are putting to a vote later this week that Schumer isn’t shy about supporting. So there’s your glimpse into whether or not Senate Dems see political advantage in high-income opposing tax cuts.

Greg Sargent reported this morning that a group of so-called moderate House Democrats are equally iffy on the political advantage of a tax cut vote and are urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi not to hold a vote on only extending middle class cuts. Some of those Democrats have already signed a letter to Pelosi in support of a full extension of all tax cuts regardless of income.

Yesterday, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) told reporters a vote on the tax cuts might come next week.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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