Kline, Paulsen, Peterson vote against middle-class tax relief


Democrat Collin Peterson joined Republican Reps. John Kline, Erik Paulsen and Michele Bachmann in voting against an extension of the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000. The middle-class tax relief measure passed the U.S. House on Thursday by a vote of 234 to 188. Although Bachmann didn’t vote, she had plenty to say about the bill.

“The proposal by House Democrat leaders to only extend tax cuts for the middle class is not sufficient for our nation’s economy and would not have my support,” Bachmann said in a statement. “Our economy desperately needs new jobs, but the President and House Democrats still want to raise taxes on our nation’s job creators. Tax cuts must be extended for all.”

Blue Dog Peterson was one of only 20 Democrats voting against the measure. The Democratic Congress has decided to allow the Bush-era tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 to expire. Opponents called for the tax cuts to be extended beyond the middle class to include the wealthiest Americans. Some Republicans even called the vote a tax increase.

Republican Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia said, “A vote for this bill is a vote to raise taxes on millions of American families and small business owners.”

Minority Leader John Boehner called the bill “chicken crap.”

That’s not how Democrats put it.

“By cutting taxes for the middle-class, we put money into the pockets of small businesses and hard-working families who will spend it at the local grocery store or on fixing up their homes,” said Rep. Tim Walz in a statement. “Growing our economy and creating jobs will help us tackle the long-term national debt facing our country.”

In a statement, Rep. Keith Ellison, who voted for the measure along with fellow Democrats James Oberstar and Betty McCollum, said that the bill would benefit 97 percent of American families, who would each save around $1,000 per year.

“Sadly, while my Republican colleagues insist on saddling America’s middle class families with debt to pay for tax breaks for billionaires, they refuse to extend unemployment benefits for Americans who cannot find work amid the Republican recession,” he said.

Here’s the roll call for the vote