Sen. John Cornyn, the Texas Republican who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Thursday the chamber’s “show vote” to kill the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans would come back to bite Democrats in November — and that he was surprised Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, brought it to the floor at all.
“This is campaigning in the halls of Congress when we ought to be doing something serious about the solution,” he said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “I’m actually very surprised that Senator Reid would throw his members under the bus on this vote which he knew was not going to go anywhere, but which has caused them to have to side with higher taxer on small businesses, which I think is a very tough thing to explain back home.”
Democrats argue that the plan, a cornerstone of President Obama’s re-election campaign, would apply to only 2 percent of the country’s taxpayers and that the richest Americans can afford it. Republicans argued that no taxes should go up during times of economic uncertainty and the move would just job-creation.
The 51-48 vote has no chance of succeeding in the Republican-controlled House, and was preceded by an unsuccessful attempt to pass a Republican proposal that extended all the tax cuts. That failed, 54-45.
Four lawmakers — Republicans Susan M. Collins of Maine and Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, Democrat Jim Webb of Virginia and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut — voted against both proposals, while one Democrat Mark L. Pryor of Arkansas, voted for both plans. The voting was otherwise entirely along party lines.