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House Democrats to Punt on Tax Cut Vote

Democratic sources said Wednesday that the House has decided against holding a vote this week to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class.

Those sources said Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made the plans clear to her freshmen during their weekly breakfast meeting. Freshmen in competitive races were among those pushing leaders to postpone action on the issue until after the elections.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.), who also serves as assistant to the Speaker, suggested the same: “Because the Senate Republicans have made it clear that they’re going to hold tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans hostage so they can get special breaks for the top 2 percent, we will make sure that this is done by the end of the year.”

Pressed on whether Democrats had abandoned plans to vote on the issue this week, Van Hollen responded, “We will make sure this is done by the end of the year.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) decided last week against taking up the issue before Nov. 2. Democrats have said they will tackle it during the lame-duck session.