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 nation’s 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.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.