The House voted today to extend all of the Bush-era tax rates for one year and rejected a Democratic alternative to raise taxes on high-income earners, digging in each party for the remaining months of election-year messaging.
The bill to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax rates passed, 256-171, while the Democratic substitute, which would extend the rates only for families earning less that $250,000, failed, 170-257.
The vote comes a week after the Senate passed a similar Democratic plan, which is supported by President Barack Obama, and shot down the Republican plan to extend the tax cuts in their entirety.
With both sides set in their positions and unlikely to compromise before the elections, Democrats and Republicans will take their competing economic messages home over the August recess in hopes of winning over voters.
Democrats hold that it is an issue of fairness and that those at the top of the economic ladder should pay more to pull the country out of a slow recovery.
Republicans contend that job creation would be adversely affected by taxing the wealthy.
On January 3, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., raises her right hand as her son Henry messes up her hair while Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., delivers the ceremonial swearing-in in the Old Senate Chamber. Gillibrand's other son Theodore, lower right, looks on.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.