Vickie Needham at The Hill reports that Senate Finance Chair Baucus is preparing a tax bill to extend the Bush tax cuts for all for two years. The report is that the bill would include addressing the estate tax with one would assume a $3.5 million exemption as the President supports. This bill would then be the piece of legislation the two parties could negotiate over.
One other note: the report states the President and the congressional leaders have postponed until Nov. 30th the meeting that was to occur this week to negotiate over these tax issues. The stated reason is the Republicans’ “scheduling conflicts in organizing their caucuses”. What in the heck does that mean? The word from the Republicans is that the date was not set in stone. I find it bizarre these folks are not getting started early in dealing with these important tax issues. Amazing how dysfunctional it is back in Washington.
I fear that we may end up with no action on anything in 2010. That is what happened at the end of last year regarding the estate tax. The House passed a bill with a $3,5 million exemption for 2010 but the Senate waited so long it would have taken a unanimous vote to pass the House bill before the end of 2009.
I am afraid the same will happen this time. They will not allow themselves enough time to work out a deal and all the details before the end of 2010. For example, the Washington Post reports the Senate Democrats met today for two hours and never discussed the tax issue. The CNNPolitics blog reports:
But Democratic officials say they would have made the meeting despite the crowded schedule and they’re questioning the GOP commitment to working together. “They can spin it however they want,” said one Democratic official. “All I know is that a bipartisan group of the House and Senate leadership were invited to the White House. It doesn’t bode well for future cooperation.”
What is wrong with these people! (Sorry from my digressing from a professional tone but this is getting pretty exasperating.) I cannot imagine how organizing the Republicans’ internal structure in Congress could be more important than resolving these tax issues. They talk about not wanting to harm small business. Believe me this is now about to harm small business. The uncertainty regarding taxes will now begin to have a true effect. What morons! I believe the Republican leaders are doing this just to spite the President.
By Kevin Staker