The House yesterday voted to permanently extend the 2001 tax relief for married couples, sending the bill to the Senate and kicking off what promises to be an election year of partisan wrangling over tax-related issues.
The provisions that are being made permanent were part of President Bush’s 2001 tax-cut package and are designed to eliminate what lawmakers call the marriage penalty, which results in many couples paying higher taxes than they would if they were single. Even though some House Democrats complained about the bill yesterday, it was approved overwhelmingly, 323-95, with 102 Democrats supporting it.
The bill — which applies to married couples, defined under federal law as opposite-sex couples — was the first in a series of measures that House Republican leaders will bring to the floor in the next month to permanently extend tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year. Two others would make permanent the $1,000 child-tax credit and the expanded 10 percent tax bracket for low-income persons.