House poised for votes on Bush tax rates

With little suspense, the House is on the verge of approving a Republican plan to extend all federal income tax rates for one year, setting up a political game of chicken with Democrats and the Senate that will play out after the November elections.

It will be the exact opposite result of a pair of identical votes last week in the Senate, as Democrats will be short on votes in the House for their plan to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on household income over $250,000 for a family and $200,000 for an individual.

The White House on Tuesday evening officially threatened to veto the Republican bill, making the case for the plan that passed the Senate last week on a mainly party line vote.

“If the President were presented with H.R. 8, he would veto the bill,” the White House statement read.

Republicans meanwhile highlighted quotes from Democrats in Congress who were ready to vote against their own party’s plan, as both sides did their best to push the narrative that they held the high ground in this very political debate.

Look for President Obama to hammer home the Democratic Party argument during his visit to Ohio on Wednesday, and then in Florida and Virginia on Thursday, as officials say he will “lay out his vision to rebuild the economy from the middle out, cut taxes for middle-class families and reduce the country’s deficit.”

Debate will begin on the tax issue on Wednesday afternoon; it wasn’t immediately clear if the votes would follow soon after, or be held over until Thursday, which is when lawmakers are expected to head out of town until mid-September.