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House Republicans Urge Democrats to Extend Full Tax Cut

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Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Speaker John Boehner and other U.S. House Republican leaders urged Senate Democrats to pass the income tax-cut extension for all income levels that the House plans to vote on today.

“It is the interest of our economy to quickly remove the threat of the entire tax hike,” Boehner of Ohio said in the letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat. The letter also was signed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California and Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas.

The Senate voted last month to extend most of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts while letting them expire for top earners. The plan, supported by President Barack Obama, would continue the tax cuts for individual income of as much as $200,000 a year and married couples’ income of as much as $250,000.

“In the event the Senate takes action, we stand ready to bring the House back into session for the purpose of enacting solutions,” the letter said.

Boehner said the House would return to Washington during Congress’ summer recess if the Senate found a way to avert automatic U.S. spending cuts of $1.2 trillion set to start in January. Half of the cuts would come from defense spending.

Congress is scheduled to start its recess next week.

In a response to Boehner, Reid said the House Republican demands were “extreme and wrong” and urged House leaders to adopt the Senate’s tax measure.

“For nearly two years, the Republican-led House has ignored the will of the American people by accomplishing virtually nothing of bipartisan substance,” Reid wrote. “If the House is prepared to ask millionaires and billionaires to contribute their fair share, the Senate is prepared to remain in session as long as necessary to approve an agreement on a balanced deficit-reduction package.”

To contact the reporters on this story: James Rowley in Washington at jarowley@bloomberg.net; Roxana Tiron in Washington at rtiron@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at jschneider50@bloomberg.net

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