Sen. Harry Reid and his Republican opponent Sharron Angle squared off last night in Nevada in their only debate of the election.
As HUMAN EVENTS reported in debate coverage today, when asked about delaying until after the elections a vote in the Senate on tax increases sought by Democrats, Reid said that his counterpart, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, agreed with him that they needed to wait until after the election to decide whether or not to raise taxes on the wealthy in a recession.
“Mitch McConnell and I don’t agree on everything but we agree on one thing, we need to wait until we get back after the elections to find out what the economy’s going to be,” Reid said in the debate.
McConnell spokesman Don Stewart told HUMAN EVENTS this morning that Reid’s statement was inaccurate, that there was no agreement to delay a vote on the Democrats’ proposed tax hikes.
“Despite Reid’s comment, Senator McConnell did not say that we needed to wait until after the election to prevent the tax hikes,” Stewart told HUMAN EVENTS. “In fact, Senator McConnell was the only one to file a bill in the Senate to stop the tax hikes. He was ready to pass his bill (S.3773) that would prevent any tax hikes on any taxpayer.”
Just two weeks ago, McConnell delivered the Weekly Republican Address where he spoke about Democrats blocking a vote.
Excerpt from McConnell’s October 2 address:
“Earlier this week, Democrat leaders who’ve spent the past year and a half working tirelessly to expand the reach of government, left town without doing the single most important thing they could have done for jobs. Too preoccupied enacting the rest of their agenda, they neglected to pass or even propose legislation that would prevent one of the largest tax hikes in history.
“As a result, at the stroke of midnight on December 31st, every American who pays income taxes is set to get a tax hike that Democrats have had two years to prevent.
“The lowest income taxpayers will see a 50% increase in their federal income tax rate on their first $8,000 of income.
“Middle class Americans will get hit hard — at the worst possible time.
“Parents will see the child tax credit they’ve enjoyed for nearly a decade cut in half.
“Many young people with college degrees will see the deduction they get on their loan interest vanish.
“The death tax will rocket from 0 percent to 55 percent, meaning many Americans will soon have to hand over more than half of everything they have to the federal government before leaving it to their families.
“Hundreds of thousands of small businesses will get socked with a job-killing tax hike.
“And young couples will be penalized even more than they already are just for getting married.
“All of these changes would overturn provisions that have been the law of the land for nearly ten years. And allowing them to happen at a time when so many are struggling makes no sense at all if you want to help the economy — something even the President admitted in the past.
“That’s why I proposed a bill last month that would extend current law and prevent any of these tax hikes from taking place, S.3773, the Tax Hike Prevention Act.
“Unfortunately, Democrats weren’t interested.
“In the final days of the session, they had other priorities.
“And whenever they were asked about this looming tax hike, they just blamed the Republicans.
“They said that Republicans will be to blame for some people getting a tax hike because we didn’t think anyone should get a tax hike …
“Now, I don’t get it either.
“The fact is, the best way to help individuals and small businesses and the economy is to give them all the certainty that their taxes won’t be going up at the end of the year.
“But Democrat leaders in Washington appear to have other plans with your money.
“As the President recently said, and I’m quoting him directly: ‘I’ve got a whole bunch of better ways to spend that money.’
“So after maxing out the national credit card on a failed Stimulus bill and a government-run health care bill, they want even more. And that’s why they are now holding middle class Americans hostage in a pursuit of their foolish desire to tax America’s job creators in the middle of a recession.
“It makes you wonder who they’re listening to.
“I’m Mitch McConnell. Thanks for tuning in.”
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