The Act would have extended middle class tax cuts for 97-98 percent of Americans making up to $250,000 a year.
Republicans maintained that the $250,000 cut off was too low, didn't truly represent the "millionaires and billionaires" that Barack Obama and Democrats kept pitching tax hikes for, and that small businesses that filed as individuals would get caught in the tax hike death trap as well as causing job losses, cut hours and business closures, thereby harming the economy.
Roll call on that Senate vote here.
At the time of passage through the Senate, Washington Post reported:
McConnell acknowledged the unusual nature of his decision — Democratic aides could not recall another occasion when McConnell permitted a simple majority vote on a contentious issue.
"If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30% in taxes," Obama said during his State of the Union address.
Obama has referred to "millionaires and billionaires" multiple times since then.
Jump to today, House Republicans are voting on a bill quite similar to the bill Senate Democrats are already on record as passing, but they propose to extend the tax cuts on that 99.81 percent of Americans that make up to $1 million.
So, one would think the House GOP and Obama are on the same page since the GOP Plan B deliberately cuts off at that very $1 million that Obama himself has been pitching tax increases for.
Jennifer Rubin is right, Republicans have put Obama in box:
The White House is acting like it had no “plan B” in the “fiscal cliff” fight. Ever since House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would put to a vote a measure to extend all current tax rates except those for households making more than $1 million, the president and his advisers have been apoplectic. How dare he offer something Senate Democrats once approved! Protect all but millionaires?! The Democrats’ ire is as intense as it is nonsensical, and Republicans are openly mocking the White House.
After a White House threat to veto Boehner’s plan, Don Stewart, communications director for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) put out a blistering e-mail with the subject line “Treasure trove of the absurd”:
Just yesterday, the White House said they opposed the House proposal “because it can’t pass the Senate and therefore will not protect middle class families.”But today, [Dan] Pfeiffer says the President would veto even if it passed both the House and the Senate (and therefore met their test of ‘balance’).Pfeiffer claims that the White House opposes the House proposal, in part, because it has “no spending cuts.”
That’s an odd position since the President (AKA Pfeiffer’s boss), on multiple occasions, has called on the House to pass the Senate tax bill — that has “no spending cuts.” . . . .
And Pfeiffer claims that the House bill “places too big of a burden on the middle class.”
Weird, I didn’t realize that people who make more than a million dollars a year are now “the middle class.” And as those of you who have been here more than a few days will recall, 53 Senate Democrats voted for this very same millionaire threshold. Oddly, Pfeiffer didn’t accuse them of placing “too big of a burden on the middle class.”
I would take that step further and say that Senate Republicans and House Republicans have put Harry Reid, Senate Democrats and Barack Obama, in that tiny little box by offering them exactly what they said they wanted.
I believe Mitch McConell started playing Harry Reid, Dems and Obama back in July, shocking Democrats by not filibustering their bill, allowing it to pass with a simply majority. Then watching, laughing, as Obama and Democrats pitched a "millionaires" tax hike, very publicly, as often as they could take the stage........ then John Boehner closes it out by giving them exactly what they claimed they wanted, just to have them just as publicly say "we want more than we said we wanted."
That is exactly what Obama has said when he threatened to veto the bill. Exactly what Senate Democrats say when they say they won't pass the bill.
Once again they are showing they cannot take YES for an answer.
Can you say punk'd?
[Update 12/21/12] Plan B was pulled for lack of votes.