Democratic Tax-Cut Extension Plans Fail to Advance in Senate

The U.S. Senate failed to advance two Democratic proposals to extend Bush-era income-tax cuts for middle-income taxpayers.

Both votes today in an unusual weekend session were short of the 60 needed to bring the measures to the floor. The vote was 53-36 on a version of a bill passed Dec. 2 by the House that would continue lower tax rates only on the first $250,000 of married couples’ income.

Senators voted 53-37 on the other proposal, which would extend the tax cuts for the first $1 million of income. Republicans insist on keeping the tax reductions for all income levels.

Tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 are scheduled to expire Dec. 31 unless Congress agrees on an extension. Senator Robert Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, said today administration and congressional negotiators will likely reach an agreement by the end of next week.

“There’ll be a deal by the end of next week,” Corker said. “It’ll be existing policy, in my opinion, and maybe some other attachments.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan J. Donmoyer in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at

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