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U.S. Senate puts middle class before richest 2 percent

Middle class tax cut extension passes 51-48

WASHINGTON - July 26, 2012 -

Yesterday, Senate Democrats put hardworking Americans before billionaires and Wall Street barons when they passed a measure to extend tax rates for families with an annual income of up to $250,000 a year. The plan, based on President Obama’s proposal, would benefit 98 percent of taxpayers, and would create nearly $1 trillion in new tax revenue.

Earlier in the day, Senate rejected a Republican proposal to extend all Bush-era tax cuts for one year, including extensions of cuts that only benefit the richest 2 percent of Americans. According to a White House report, if the middle class tax cut isn’t signed into law by the end of the year, the average American will see his or her tax bill increase by roughly $1,600 in 2013. The average family of four would see its taxes rise by nearly $2,200 next year.

“This is a huge win for hard working men and women. The Senate has issued a challenge to the House: Put partisanship aside and put working families on the front burner,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Now it’s up to the House to step up to the plate and stop holding middle class tax cuts hostage just to score political points with ‘big business’ and the richest 2 percent who bankroll their campaigns.”

“Today’s vote confirmed what many of us already knew. There are two very distinct visions for our future: one that ensures the rich get richer and the other which ensures everyone gets a fair shot by making the necessary investments for economic growth. Democrats in the Senate made it clear they believe in a vision where opportunity isn’t determined based upon what one can afford. It’s up to the House to follow their example. We must come together around the right vision for America—and the first step should be to support the middle class through extended tax cuts,” said Van Roekel.

President Obama and congressional Republicans agreed to a temporary two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts in 2010. That extension expires on December 31, 2012.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson  (202)822-7823,