Senate Votes To Extend All Working Family Tax Credit Expansions
July 26th, 2012
Yesterday, the Senate voted 51-48 to pass S. 3412, a bill that would extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts on income up to $250,000 ($200,000 for single people), including expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and Child and Dependent Care Credit for another year; it would also extend the 2009 EITC and CTC expansions that were originally included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The Senate rejected, on a 45-54 vote, a Republican alternative that would have extended the Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels, including the top 2 percent of earners, but that would not have extended the ARRA improvements to the EITC and CTC. (At the last moment, the Republican leadership agreed to allow both bills to move forward without first requiring a cloture vote to end debate. That meant that only 51 votes, not 60, were needed to approve the bill, and that the Senate was voting on the actual bill. This was a change from what we reported in yesterday’s blog.)
The House is expected to vote on a bill that is similar to the Republican plan before the August recess begins on August 6th, but it is not expected to consider the bill that the Senate passed yesterday. There will undoubtedly be further debate and votes on both the ARRA and Bush-era tax cuts, including the family tax credit expansions, before they expire at the end of 2012.
At the same time, the House will vote to set up a fast track procedure for tax reform in 2013. While the Senate is not expected to go along with this, it is a sign that broader tax reform—including possible changes to the working family tax credits—will be on the political agenda after the November elections.