The passage of the bill, which would extend the so-called Bush-era tax cuts for only those making $250,000 a year or less, “was a great tradeoff for us,” he said.
“Democrats proved they really do believe that raising taxes is the best remedy for a jobs crisis, and we proved that their plan to do it won’t become law.”
The Democrat-controlled Senate passed the bill on Wednesday, but it is not expected to go anywhere in the Republican-controlled House, McConnell pointed out.
Democrats in both houses voted alongside Republicans in December 2010 to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts across the board as the economy’s growth was sluggish. Because the economy is growing even more slowly now, McConnell says the Democrats’ change of heart in favor of tax-hikes doesn’t match their previous logic.
“I recall the  signing ceremony…The president made a speech in signing an extension of the current tax rates that I could have made myself,” McConnell stated from the Senate floor Wednesday. “Forty members of the Senate on the Dem side voted for it. Now today the economy is growing slower than it was in December of 2010. So we know this is not about the economy. We know this is about the election.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid maintains that his party is concerned with reducing the deficit, and must generate revenue by ending the extension for income earners over $250,000 and by lowering the estate tax threshold from $5 million to $1 million.
In response, McConnell said, “This would produce enough revenue to operate the government for about a week. This is not about the deficit or the debt, this is about the campaign.”
In addition to raising taxes on high-earners, The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the bill’s passage would raise taxes on nearly one million small businesses that treat their business income as personal income, and increase the number of estates hit by the death tax from 3,600 to 46,700.
As the bill moves to the House it will meet the Republicans’ proposal for a full renewal of the tax-cuts head on.
Republican aides report that there are 89 House Democrats who backed the 2010 extension still serving. Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana have already told The Hill they would vote with Republicans to extend all the tax rates through 2013.