The streak is still alive. In the 22 years since George H.W. Bush and a scattering of congressional Republicans cut a tax hike deal with Democrats, not a single member of the House or Senate GOP has voted to raise income tax rates. On Wednesday, 238 House Republicans voted against letting the Bush-era rates expire on annual income over $250,000 for families and $200,000 for individuals. Zero House Republicans voted for it.
The story was a little different on the other side of the aisle, though, with 19 Democrats joining with the GOP and opposing a plan that President Obama and their party’s congressional leadership have endorsed. As a result, the bill failed by a 257-170 margin, and shortly thereafter a plan to extend the Bush rates for all income levels passed by a similar spread.
This outcome was no surprise. Obama and Democratic leaders are playing a long game on taxes, making their call for high-earners to pay more a key component of their fall campaign and hoping that a November victory will somehow break the GOP’s unified opposition – and strengthen the spine of their fellow Democrats.
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