ABC News’ John Parkinson reports:
As the House of Representatives works to finish up its legislative business and lawmakers prepare to return home to campaign for reelection, House Republicans today criticized Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrat leadership for not permitting a vote on extending all of the Bush-era tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of the year.
House Minority Leader John Boehner says a bipartisan majority in both the House and Senate support the extension, and by not permitting a floor vote to extend the current rates, Democrats are ignoring the will of the American people.
“It’s irresponsible for them to leave town without giving us a fair up or down vote,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said.“There’s a bipartisan majority who want to extend all of the current tax rates. If Democrat leaders leave town without stopping these tax increases, they’re turning backs on the American people.”
The House could adjourn as soon as tonight, once Congress passes a Continuing Resolution, which finances the federal government at 2010 levels until early December. The Senate is expected to finish its work on the CR later this afternoon. If the House does not take up the CR tonight, members would return tomorrow to finish out the pre-election session of Congress.
“The question right now that the American people are asking are where are the jobs? And we don’t have jobs in America because of uncertainty effecting families and small businesses,” Boehner said.“We can help clear out some of this uncertainty by extending all of the current tax rates and cutting spending. We could do both of them this week.”
House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence, R-Indiana, said that by Congress not holding a vote, Democrats are embracing “one of the largest tax increases in American history,” as unemployment hovers around 10 percent and millions of Americans have stopped looking for new employment all-together.
“What’s happening here in Washington, DC this week is unconscionable. Democrats are putting politics over prosperity.” Pence said. “Washington Democrats will go campaign to try and save their own jobs while doing nothing to save the jobs of working Americans. The American people deserve to know: Washington Democrats are putting saving their jobs ahead of saving yours.”
President Obama and House Democrats have called for an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for individuals making up to $200,000 and families earning up to $250,000 per year, but believe the cuts for the highest income bracket should expire.
“Higher taxes won’t get anybody hired,” Pence added. “Congress must not adjourn until we vote up or down to extend all current tax relief to every American.”
Last Friday, Pelosi, D-California, told reporters that if Congress does not extend the middle class tax cuts before the election, it would be a top priority in the lame duck session of Congress.
“America’s middle class will have a tax cut, it will be done in this Congress. There is no question about that,” Pelosi said.