House Passes Extension of Bush Tax Cuts

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Thursday night, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two years. However, many Democrats aren't happy with the compromise.

It took months of fierce negotiation and contentious compromises and many Democrats fought up to the last minute.

"What this bill represents is a complete surrender of Democratic principles," said Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass.

"This bill will kill our children with very little benefit at the moment," said Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass.

In the end, enough Democrats held their noses and voted for the bill which kept Americans from facing a major tax hike after the first of the year.

The $858 billion bill extended the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, extends unemployment benefits for about 9 million Americans, and gives $400 billion in tax cuts and credits aimed at boosting the economy.

"This tax deal is not perfect," said Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.

Republicans called it the best deal they could get right now, and President Barack Obama agreed with them.

"This isn't an abstract debate," Obama said. "This is real money for real people. It will make a real difference in the lives of the folks who sent us here."

"This is exactly the kind of thing American people voted against last November," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "Just this kind of thing."

Republicans forced Democrats to put a halt on the $1.2 trillion "omnibus" spending bill -- loaded with thousands of lawmakers' pet projects -- better known as earmarks.

"Here is the bill," McConnell said. "Right at 2,000 pages in this bill. It spends a half a billion dollars a page."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he will work with Republicans to write a shorter-term funding bill.

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