Steny Hoyer, the House Democrats’ #2, announced today that there will be a vote Thursday on extending just the middle class tax cuts, not the tax cuts for the richest 2 percent. This is exactly what liberals have been advocating for weeks, with online spots like this one.
The second part of the liberal gambit, however, is to not allow a follow-on vote to extend all the tax cuts, something that is unlikely to succeed given the support for extending all tax cuts among Senate Democrats and President Obama’s willingness to negotiate with Republicans. Nonetheless, Eric Cantor, the House Republicans’ #2, is outraged over the Hoyer move, calling it “political chicanery.”
UPDATE: Commenter extraordinaire Stuart Zechman points out that my summary above of the tax benefits at issue is imprecise. Hoyer plans to put up for a vote an extension of tax cuts for those making $250,000 or less. But those making more than $250,000 would still benefit from that extension, since the first $250,000 of their income would be taxed at the same levels as those in the middle tax brackets. This is, of course, a point that President Obama has made on several occasions.