The biggest U.S. companies stepped up their lobbying on Monday to block Democrats’ plans to let taxes on wealthier Americans rise at year’s end, asking lawmakers not to cut short the hearing process in Congress.
The Senate is set to take up expiration of tax cuts on nearly all individuals enacted under former President George W. Bush when it reconvenes in September. The thorniest issue involves taxes for the top income classes — families earning at least $250,000 a year — which President Barack Obama and most Democrats want to let expire.
The debate comes with unemployment stubbornly stuck near 10 percent and as the November elections near. The U.S. unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, according to the latest government figures, which translates into 14.6 million people out of work.
“The pressure is still on to let the top (tax) rates go up to the higher levels, but the public is really split,” said Anne Mathias, an analyst at Concept Capital in Washington.
SENATE CANDIDATES: OUTSIDERS?