December 1st, 2010
11:16 AM ET

Senate GOP pledges to block all bills until tax dispute resolved

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/12/01/gop.senate.demands/story.mcconnell.gi.jpg caption="Senate Republicans want action on the expiring Bush-era tax cuts before tackling any other issues." width=300 height=169]

Alan Silverleib

Washington (CNN) - Senate Republicans promised Wednesday to block legislative action on every issue being considered by the lame-duck Congress until the dispute over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is resolved and an extension of current government funding is approved.

All 42 Senate Republicans signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, vowing to prevent a vote on "any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers."

"With little time left in this congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities. While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate's attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike," the letter said.

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts enacted by former President George W. Bush will expire after December 31 if Congress fails to reach an agreement on their extension. Top Democrats and Republicans disagree sharply over whether the current tax rates should be extended just for families earning $250,000 or under per year, or should be extended for everyone regardless of income.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Raw Politics
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Dawn Colbert

    Just as I suspected: this election was about racism and another chance for the republicans to delete the middle class....

    December 1, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
  2. Michelle

    This is just plain ridiculous. I hope the American middle class remembers this in 2012. It is frightening to think what is around the corner for those of us on unemployment. I had always made very conservative financial decisions and now I am paying the price at no fault of my own. I worked overtime, took on additional duties, and did it with a smile. What do I get in return for hard work and diligent saving? An unemployment check that I am amazingly grateful for, but I was making more than three times that amount at my job. These Republicans think the unemployed are living large on what is barely enough to cover the necessities. Please! If these politicians would get to work and stop their petty arguements, then maybe this country would get somewhere. Wishful thinking. If it doesn't benefit their rich cronies and corporate CEOs that send American jobs to China, then it means nothing to them. Republicans don't care about us. I will NEVER vote for anyone in their party again. I worked to hard in my life to have it all taken away because of their greed.

    December 1, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
  3. Barbara

    I saw you poll tonght saying that the majority of Americans do not want to extend the tax cuts for the wealthy. How can the Republicans get away with repeatedly making this false statement without the media and the Democrats holding their feet to fire.

    Also Republicans say that extending the tax cut for the wealthy will create jobs. Even Alan Greenspan said that is not the case. I get sick when no one seems to hold their feet to the fire on this issue either.

    December 1, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
  4. Barbara

    I am so glad to finally see a poll validating what I thought, that the majority of Americans do not want to extend the tax cuts for the rich. The tax cuts in are in place now and they are not creating jobs. It is the same old trickle down theory that Reagan used that never worked. Democrats need to stand up to this issue. Americans don't want to extend tax cuts for the wealthy!!!

    December 1, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
  5. J B

    I am amazed that the Republicans really think that the last election was saying no taxes for the wealthy. Dana Loesch really thinks that the top dogs are the job creators. Really? If that were true, we would have seen jobs and a stronger economy during the Bush Administration and the trickle down "free market" economy it created.

    December 1, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    Most boomers haven't gotten benefits yet and they have paid into the system from the beginning of their work careers. The generation receiving the Social Security is the generation, "the Great Generation", that fought WW2. Being a boomer I have never made 250,000; I have at points made 1/5th of that as do most of my boomer friends. We've seen our parents receive more social security than they ever paid into the system while at the same time we have had to pay the balance of their living expenses. I hope Social Security will be there for all of us including Generation X; I also hope the tax cuts will be extended until the economic recover really recovers. With each day that goes by the economic situation seems more hopeless all the time.

    December 1, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
  7. Jeanne from Irvine

    On tonight's show there was a discussion between Cornell Belcher and Dana Lash. They wound up shouting at each other, and Ms. Lash repeatedly made statements as if they were facts, when they were not; they were inaccurate. The things she claimed, that the middle class were not subsidizing the top 2% (since the income levels of these people have risen disproportionately over the last 20 years with the revisions in tax rates for high income earners and capital gains, etc.) and that the stimulus had not created any jobs, are issues on which there is data. These are not matters of opinion. I do not understand why journalists, such as Anderson Cooper, can not interject such facts to clarify the discussion, so that it becomes informative rather than just shouting. This is not taking sides; it is providing real information to viewers.

    December 1, 2010 at 11:01 pm |
  8. Kenneth Armstrong

    I find it interesting that three illegal wars, not backed by the american people, only the words of two Bush presidents. It was Kuaitt that was illegally drilling at an angle into Iraq's oilfields. Three wars are now being paid by an increase in taxes, from town, state and federal govt. The Bush family should pay all the loans by countries that Bush's pursued. These two presidents should pay these countries back the loans from the money they've made from the war, including Cheney, Rumfield and Rice. Also, the banks that made sure that there was no money left for the american people. All the taking of money out of the system was orchestrated to keep the middle class poor and the rich companies that have supplied bullets, bombs, etc.,rich. Both Republicans & Democrats should not be paid for the length of all the wars, let's say 3 yrs for the 1st Iraq war, 7 yrs, for the 2nd Iraq war and 7 yrs for Afghanistan. Budget balanced, no new taxes!!

    December 1, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  9. quitie of texas

    Mr. Senater what can you take from 10,0000 a year.

    December 1, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  10. Lucy

    The boomers have paid for children to go to school, have paid their taxes and for the most part worked hard. People who worked all their lives do deserve social security payments to get their rightful pay back.

    December 1, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  11. quitie

    There are no job, and I dont have any money to give to the rich i dont think they are hurting like me poor urban people.

    December 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  12. Lucy

    Absolutely keep tax breaks for all. The stimulus only gave federal jobs to people in D.C. Good for the Republicans today, because that is what most of the voters wanted. Wealthy people provide jobs. People on unemloyment payments do not provide jobs to anyone.

    December 1, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  13. Sam from Indiana

    It is hypocritical and dishonest to complain about the national debt and the deficits then push for more tax cuts.

    If they want to give the wealthy more tax cuts the should offset them with cuts first

    December 1, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  14. david bidlack

    mitch mcconnell has gone to far this time. he thinks you can rule from somewhere other than the senate floor with a signed letter from republican senators. this is like voting outside of the office you hold to effect goverment activities. this would look like a coup taking place if you were on the outside looking in. mitch mcconnell is now becoming dangerous to this country by abuse of his powers in the senate. he seems unwilling to except that this country is run by majority rule. this concept seems to him to be wrong. even if the voters made a mistake putting president oboma into office we are allowed as voters to make mistakes. he seems to think he can run this country from a minority leadership position. this letter is like a beer hall vote in the 1930s and we know what happened after that. this guy is becoming a big story and has been going that way with his goal of making the president fail for the last 2 years ago. his abuse of power is now becoming dangerous to this democracy. he is a master of no goverment with 41 votes kept in line foe the last 2 years and now he is getting drunk on his own misplaced power. he needs to feel the pressure of his own actions and up until know he is still getting a free pass by the press. put the light on him like there was on nancy and see how he handles it.

    December 1, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  15. Sam from Indiana

    I think the democrats should immediately put two bills on the floor. One extending tax cuts for those making less than 250,000, and another for those making 250,000 or more.

    That would force those who want to give the rich more tax cuts to identify themselves and face the voters wrath.

    December 1, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  16. mary

    No matter who is running what house, it is always the same bs over and over. At this point, the American people do not want the bs they want action. When are both parties going to realize that they really do not work for the people of this country. They are working for earmarks and their own pockets. I would really like to see all the republicians and democrats take one year not to accept a salary to help close the budget gap. They would never do it because they are only after money and how much they can get for their projects. They all need to wake up. If they just did something that would be good for the people instead of fighting and playing games, we would not be in this situation.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
  17. alice

    I am not surprised . My question is, what are the Dems doing to fight back? They have to take this to the American people daily, tell them how they (republicans) refuse to do anything for the unemployed and under employed, tell them that their priority is tax cuts for the rich. Hey I have been unemployed for a very long time... guess what i don't care about a tax cut and neither will millions who don't even have unemployment benefits. The rich have had those tax cuts for over 10 years... what has it done for us.. Nada. Oh they hire sure in china and pakistan. Can't find anything made in the U.S. not even sweat socks. No don't give them a tax cut. they will not even feel it. Hey Guys just remember just cause I don't have a job does not mean i can't vote. Actually I have more time then ever to get to the polls early as I just did this past November.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  18. Pamela Rasmussen

    My goodness, how 2 year old is this? I wonder how these guys will explain the lack of a unemployment extension to their constituents with nothing to feed their children with at christmas time. I am so tired of the tantrums coming out of DC. We elected all these people because we thought they were grown adults with the power to reason. Who knew they would be such spoiled and demanding children.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  19. Hank Shiver

    It appears the GOP will again shut down the US Government. Bring it on.

    December 1, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  20. larry

    The GOP signers of such a one minded letter, need to hear from people who do not want a government stand still. Move forward on pending items the country needs.
    Come to a comprormise without holding the american people hostage by increaseing the tax on those who make more then $500,000.

    Larry J. King
    Washington, DC

    December 1, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  21. William of Iowa

    Meet the new boss – same as the old boss. Let the tax cuts expire, it is time the "boomers" started paying their bills. After all, they are the biggest demographic group in history and will soon stretch entitlement programs – like social security, medicare, medicaid – beyond the point "generation x" can pay for.

    December 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm |