House takes symbolic vote on taxes, talks go on

The measure, which passed 234 to 188, is expected to die in the Senate, where Republicans have the votes to block it. Twenty Democrats voted against the House bill and three Republicans voted for it,political strategy.

Despite the likely outcome, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he will hold a vote on the House bill, though the timing is uncertain.

Most Democrats say Republicans were willing to jeopardize low tax rates for middle- and lower-income taxpayers to ensure low taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

The tax cuts were signed into law by former President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003 and are set to expire December 31.

“The Republicans want to continue to keep middle-income tax cuts hostage until it is combined with upper-income tax cuts,” said Democratic Representative Sander Levin, head of the tax-writing panel in the House.

Republicans countered that allowing any tax rates to rise would threaten the economy, which is suffering from high unemployment rates.

The House cartoon porn action comes as congressional leaders and the Obama administration negotiate behind closed doors for a compromise that would allow Congress to extend tax rates before they expire at year’s end.

“The talks are ongoing and productive, but any reports that we are near a deal in the tax cut negotiations are inaccurate and premature,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

On Capitol Hill, senior Democratic aides said they did not expect any significant progress until at least next week.

Another aide said many Democrats are worried the White House will not stand up to Republicans.

“There’s a growing concern that the White House won’t fight hard enough for the middle class and will cave

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