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McClatchy Newspapers, Published December 04 2010

Bid to limit tax cuts to middle class and poor fails in Senate

WASHINGTON – The Senate today blocked – and most likely doomed – efforts to end Bush-era tax cuts for the very wealthy while pre-serving them for people earning up to $1 million.

The votes effectively clear the way for the White House and Congress to iron out a compromise on how to continue the expiring breaks. Bipartisan talks began earlier this week, and it’s widely expected negotiators will agree to a temporary extension of the cuts for every income group, which expire Dec. 31.

Today was largely a day for making political points and reiterating long-held views. The Senate took two votes to cut off debate on the middle class and poor cuts, but both failed to get the support of the 60 of 100 senators needed. Most of the opposition came from Republicans.

The House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve the cuts for the middle class and the poor, with most Democrats voting yes and most Republicans voting no.