Partisanship

Tax Cuts to Dominate Fall Agenda

Congress’ final months of legislating before the midterm elections, already destined to be contentious, will be dominated by one of the most politically charged issues of the year: taxes. Neither party has coalesced around a defined strategy for dealing with the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, leaving as much room for negotiation as for partisan deadlock. House GOP leader John Boehner took an unlikely turn on Face the Nation, saying he would support President Obama’s proposal—letting the cuts on the wealthy expire while continuing them for everyone else—if that were his “only option” to achieve lower taxes. Still, many Republicans have adamantly opposed such a measure, and Democrats would have an uphill battle uniting against their opposition. Meanwhile in the Senate, Republican leader Mitch McConnell has emphatically said that Obama’s plan will get nowhere in that chamber. The president’s plan would cost about $3 trillion over the next decade; letting all tax cuts continue would cost $800 billion more.