Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
As expected, the US Senate passed on Wednesday the tax deal President Obama struck with Republicans. Both of Alaska’s Senators supported it. It would extend for two years the Bush-Era tax cuts for all income brackets – including the wealthiest Americans. That upsets liberal Democrats, as does the plan to bring back the Estate Tax at a laxer rate than before (at 35 percent for people inheriting more than $5 million.) But Democrats did get some things they liked, including an extension of long term unemployment benefits and tax breaks for college tuition, child care, renewable energy development, and businesses. Wednesday’s vote was 81 to 19. It was an unusual group united in their “no” votes: liberals and fiscal conservatives. Some of the Senate’s staunchest spending-critics voted against the bill because it will cost more than $800 billion. Passing the US House will be trickier, where many Democrats are against the package.
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