It was a day for dueling tax votes on Capitol Hill; and in today’s battle, the Democrats reigned victorious.

Democrats in the US Senate voted Wednesday to extend tax cuts for middle class Americans. The so-called Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire by the end of the year. The measure passed today extends the cuts for all but the wealthiest Americans. It is unlikely, however, that the bill will become law. It is expected to fail in the Republican controlled House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, a Republican supported measure to extend all of the so-called Bush Era tax cuts died on the floor. That measure would have cut taxes for all Americans, including the nation’s richest.

President Obama released this statement, calling on House Republicans to pass the legislation:

"With the Senate’s vote, the House Republicans are now the only people left in Washington holding hostage the middle-class tax cuts for 98% of Americans and nearly every small business owner. The last thing a typical middle class family can afford is a $2,200 tax hike at the beginning of next year. It’s time for House Republicans to drop their demand for another $1 trillion giveaway to the wealthiest Americans and give our families and small businesses the financial security and certainty that they need. Our economy isn’t built from the top-down, it’s built from a strong and growing middle class, and that’s who we should be fighting for."

Today’s votes were split down party lines, with both Texas senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn voting in favor of the Republican backed bill; and against the Obama administration supported legislation.

Here are statements released today by their offices:

Sen. John Cornyn Statement:


“Two years ago, President Obama and a majority of Senate Democrats supported an effort that made sure working families and small businesses wouldn’t be hit with higher taxes.

“Their refusal to join this effort today, in a more sluggish economy, is nothing short of baffling.

“Republicans will continue to push for an extension of all current tax rates, protecting Texas families, farms, and small businesses from the largest tax increase in American history.”

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison Statement:


“The tax increase bill Democrats put forward would hike taxes on nearly a million small businesses at a time when our economy remains weak.

“The Democrats’ tax plan will increase the death tax from its current rate of 35% up to 55%, taking more of the American people’s hard earned money away from their families.

“It is telling that Democrats voted against an extension of current tax rates even though doing so would provide the stability companies need to hire new workers and offer protection to families from new taxes, at a time of continued economic uncertainty.”