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Lawmakers say tax cut vote should be delayed as negotiations begin

by Adam Russett on December 2, 2010

Republican and Democratic lawmakers are urging congressional leaders to delay a vote on possibly extending Bush-era tax cuts until there can be adequate negotiations, which are set to begin today. Senator Max Baucus and Representative David Camp are leading the charge against a vote that they say would be premature, Bloomberg reports.

Negotiators are expected to disucss whether or not the tax cuts should expire for individuals who are making more than $200,000 a year (or couples making $250,000 or more), as President Barack Obama has pledged to do since taking office. The policy would be a break from Bush-era tax cuts, which were available to those in higher income brackets. Unless there is a vote, all the tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 are set to expire on December 31.

In an effort to broker a deal between those in congress, Baucus and Camp will be meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner, Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew, Arizona Senator Jon Kyl and Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen.

The majority of Republicans support keeping tax cuts for the wealthy, however Democrats are calling for a ceiling of $250,000, with some being less eager to strike a deal with the GOP.

"I myself, I'm not talking about compromise," Senator Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, told the news source. "I think we should go to the floor and have the vote on $250,000."

While the tax cuts are the biggest issue to be discussed in negotiations, it is not the only one. Among the other topics that will need to be addressed is the long-standing dispute over how estates worth millions of dollars should be taxed, and lawmakers are looking for a way to re-instate a number of tax incentives for businesses that expired at the end of 2009.

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