The New York Times adds some weight to the story Brian Beutler reported earlier today:
House May Move on Tax Cuts Despite Senate Delay
The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said on Friday that Democrats in her chamber may still force a vote next week on the expiring Bush-era income-tax rate cuts, even though their counterparts in the Senate have decided not to bring the issue to the floor until after the November elections.
President Obama and Democratic leaders would like to make the lower tax rates permanent for the first $250,000 of income for couples and the first $200,000 for individuals, but allow the tax breaks to expire on income above those amounts for wealthier Americans. ... Though she acknowledged that the bill could not become law until a lame-duck session after the election, Ms. Pelosi said, “We will retain the right to proceed as we choose.”
I know I don't need to sell anyone who regularly reads Daily Kos on why it makes so much sense to have a vote, but just in case there's anybody out there who doesn't get why trying to hide is a pointless exercise, just read the GOP reaction to yesterday's news that Congress was going to punt:
Americans are opposed to raising taxes on anyone in this struggling economy, but it seems Democrat leaders in Washington are the only ones who have yet to receive that message. By refusing to address this issue, vulnerable House Democrats can now add the Obama tax hike on small businesses to the long litany of job-killing policies they will be forced to defend between now and Election Day.
If you're a Democrat facing a challenge this November, you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't -- at least as far as the GOP is concerned. There's no scenario under which they won't go on the attack. At least by having the vote now, you've either got something to fire back in their face -- that they are holding the middle-class tax cuts hostage -- or, even better, you've passed the tax cuts out of the House and put the Senate on the spot. Either way, if you're a Democrat, you win -- even if you favor extending tax cuts for the wealthy, because you'll still have a chance to accomplish that goal when Congress returns after the election. But at least for now, you've done your job when it comes to extending middle-class tax cuts.