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August 6, 2012

Congress remains divided over tax policy

(Continued)

“Speaker (John) Boehner should stop catering to the extreme right wing of his party and pass the common sense, compromise bill that the Senate approved,” Tierney said. “That proposal would extend tax cuts for all taxpayers on the first $250,000 of their income, regardless of overall wealth, while not extending additional special tax cuts for income exceeding that threshold.”

Tsongas agreed.

“The Republican majority refuses to support the Senate legislation because it wouldn’t enact an additional tax cut for income levels above $250,000 for the top 2 percent earners,” Tsongas said. “Republicans are holding the middle class tax cut hostage in order to give households with incomes over $1 million an average tax cut of $160,000.”

The National Taxpayers Union had urged passage of the Republican version.

“This legislation is not perfect, but it’s necessary to stop a catastrophe for consumers, employers, small business owners and our economy as a whole,” its “Stop the Tax Hike” petition to Congress said.

The Senate also was divided on party lines.

Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., favored the Democrat plan that passed. Sens. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., dissented.

The lawmakers acknowledge they will need to come together.

“This ought to be a no-brainer but, instead, Congress is in gridlock once again,” Tsongas said.

“We must get past the political rhetoric of saying we can solve our nation’s problems with just raising taxes on one segment of our population

or suggesting that only more spending cuts are needed, which is both inaccurate and insincere,” Bass said.

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