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House Republicans Vote to Keep Bush Tax Cuts for the Richest 2%

In a reverse of last week’s Senate action, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved (256-171) a bill (H.R. 8) to extend the Bush tax cuts for the nation’s wealthiest 2%— about $160,000 a year for the average millionaire. The House defeated (257-170) a Democratic alternative amendment to maintain the cuts for the middle class but end the tax breaks for the rich.

In a letter to House members, the coalition Americans for Tax Fairness, which includes the AFL-CIO, says “ending the Bush tax cuts would restore some basic fairness to our tax system… Simply put, we cannot afford to continue to give large tax cuts to those who need them the least.”

If we continue unaffordable tax breaks for the richest 2 percent, we won’t be able to address critical national priorities demanding attention—such as supporting education, strengthening Medicare, creating jobs, improving our infrastructure and helping the millions of families struggling to get by. 

Not only that, but new analysis from the Center for American Progress shows that the Republican plan will raise taxes on roughly 24 million people—because it allows various credits, including the Child Tax Credit, to expire—while maintaining Bush tax cuts for two million wealthy Americans.

In addition, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) finds that since the Bush tax cuts took effect in 2004, the average millionaire has pocketed an extra $1 million over the past nine years. The tax cuts made the tax system far less progressive by boosting after-tax incomes of high-income households by a much greater percentage than they did for low-income households. Click here for more. 

After voting to keep the tax cuts for the wealthy—a move supported by Mitt Romney—House Republicans are expected pass a bill (H.R. 6169) that would cut taxes for the rich and corporations even further and exempt U.S. corporations' offshore profits from taxes. 

The House and Senate are not expected to take any further action on the Bush tax cuts and will adjourn by the end of the week until after Labor Day. 

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