Speaker John Boehner has urged the Senate to follow the Houses lead by passing legislation to extend all current tax rates into next year, arguing that allowing tax rates to increase would further hurt the economy.
Boehner said the House has acted to avert the cuts that would hurt the nationís ability to protect itself. Of the $1.2 trillion, half would come from security spending, which will force a raft of layoffs from defense contractors.
But Senate Democrats will not take up the measure and instead want to keep the threat of the cuts on the table in an effort to force Republicans to agree to a deficit reduction package that includes tax increases.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.