Senate tax cut bill passes by wide margin

Harry Reid

The Senate tax bill was hailed by Majority Leader Harry Reid as a great bipartisan achievement. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The Senate passed the tax bill by a very wide margin after compromises by both sides of the aisle. The bill will extend the Bush tax cuts and make some other key changes. The bill still must pass the House of Representatives to become law.

Senate tax bill pass with flying colors

A lot of eyes have been on Washington, D.C., to see whether the Senate would pass the tax bill to extend the Bush era tax cuts. It’s the most significant piece of legislation before the “lame duck Congress” is set to begin next year. The Senate voted in favor of the $858 billion bill by a margin of 81 to 19, according to the New York Times. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) hailed the tax cut bill passing as an act of great cooperation between the two parties to accomplish a significant task on behalf of the American people. However, the difficulty lies in the bill passing the House of Representatives, which the bill has to in order to become law.

The tax cut bill

The tax bill will extend the tax cuts from the Bush administration. The increase in taxes for the richest 2 percent of earners is canceled. The estate tax is conditionally reinstated for 2011. Estates left to heirs totaling more than $5 million, or $10 million for couples, will be taxed at 35 percent. The bill adds a federal unemployment benefits extension from 26 weeks to 99 weeks for states that have an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent and above. The bill also cuts payroll taxes for Social Security for workers earning $106,000 a year or less.

Bill goes to the House

In order for the bill to become law, it has to be passed by the House of Representatives. Currently, the House has a Democrat majority, as the Republican majority of the upcoming lame duck session has not yet been seated. Congressional democrats are not all thrilled with the compromises made in the bill. However, should the House not pass it, income taxes will rise for all Americans in 2011.


New York Times

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