President Barack Obama’s tax cut package was pulled from the House floor on Thursday afternoon because Democratic leaders were uncertain if they had enough votes to bring the bill to the floor. They did not have the votes to approve a rule change proposed Wednesday night to govern debate on the actual bill. However, published reports said that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi might still bring the tax extension package to the House floor for a vote later Thursday night in a snowy Washington.
The compromise bill was overwhelmingly passed by the Senate on Thursday afternoon.
According to a report on C-span, the House was nearly finished debating the tax package when Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., a floor manager for the tax bill, pulled the bill off of the House floor. Published reports said that Pelosi had not decided whether to allow more amendments to the Obama-GOP tax package. One amendment to the Senate bill was to be offered by Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., which would alter the estate tax to 45% for estates valued over $3.5 million ($7 million total for married couples). The Senate version of the bill puts the estate exemption amount at $5 million for an individual taxpayer and $10 million for a couple, with a top estate tax rate of 35%. Passage of the Pomeroy amendment did not look likely.
The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 by a vote of 81-19. The tax package extends the Bush-era tax rates for two years, extends unemployment insurance for 13 months, and institutes other tax measures.