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Today, a majority of U.S. Senators voted for a proposal that would extend for one year the Bush-era income tax cuts, except for those tax cuts going solely to the richest 2 percent of taxpayers, and would also extend some 2009 provisions that expanded parts of these tax cuts benefiting low-income working families. A minority of Senators voted for a proposal that would extend all the Bush-era income tax cuts, including those solely benefiting the richest 2 percent, but that would allow the 2009 provisions for low-income working families to expire.

The following is a statement from Robert McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice:

“Both of the tax bills taken up today by the U.S. Senate would extend far too many tax breaks, including tax breaks for those with the highest incomes, and would make future deficit reduction even more difficult. But the bill modeled largely on the President’s tax proposal is certainly the fairer and more responsible of the two.

“Our estimates show that under the Senate Democrats’ bill, which is modeled on President Obama’s proposal to extend most of the expiring tax cuts, people with incomes up to half a million dollars would, on average, continue to enjoy most of the Bush-era income tax cuts they enjoy today. It is ridiculous that a large number of U.S. Senators believe that this bill would not provide sufficient tax breaks to high-income taxpayers, and therefore voted for the Republican bill to extend all the Bush-era income tax cuts.

“The Republican bill that would extend all the Bush-era income tax cuts also would allow the expiration of the 2009 provisions that expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit that benefit low- and moderate-income working families. The expiration of these 2009 provisions would mean that 13 million families with 26 million children would lose tax breaks, according to our estimates. Virtually all of these families have incomes under $50,000, and in most cases they earn far less.

“A proposal that provides larger tax breaks for the richest 2 percent of taxpayers while allowing the expiration of tax breaks for 26 million children living in low- and moderate income families is the epitome of upside-down priorities. It is unfortunate that the majority party in the House has already lined up behind this coddle-the-rich-at-the-expense-of-tens-of-millions-of-American-children approach.”