Denver Post

More House Democrats call for tax cuts for all
Denver Post

More Democrats joined Republicans on Wednesday in calling for the preservation of tax breaks for Americans of every income level, bolting this election season from President Barack Obama’s plan to preserve cuts for families who earn less than $250,000 and let taxes rise for the wealthiest Americans. But Obama placed the blame for the stalled proposal squarely on Republicans.

Nervous Democrats are among those with concerns about the president’s plan. « We should not be raising taxes in the middle of a recession, » Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga., who’s facing tough odds in his bid for a fourth term, wrote in a terse letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. « It is essential that we keep things as they are in the short term, » said Rep. Travis W. Childers, D-Miss., another conservative incumbent in a tight race, whose district, like Marshall’s, voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential race.

For this pair, one press release announcing their opposition to Obama’s plan was not enough. They were two of 31 jittery Democrats who signed a letter urging Pelosi, D-Calif., and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., to abandon the Obama plan and extend to everyone the Bush-era tax cuts due to expire at the end of the year, according to one of its authors, Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah.

The divisions extended well into Democratic ranks on Capitol Hill. Moderates and conservatives in tight races were skittish about the prospect of being branded tax hikers at the height of election season if a bill to let taxes rise for the wealthy is brought up for debate.