Despite misgivings, US Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, will vote today in favor of the tax and spending compromise negotiated by President Obama and congressional Republicans, Kerry said this afternoon in a statement.
The deal extends the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, though many Democrats have long opposed extending the lower rates on family income about $250,000 per year. Republicans insist that Congress shouldn't raise taxes on anyone in a weak economy.
ďI oppose extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and have voted against them since day one, every time in between, and opposed them when I ran for president," said Kerry, who was the Democratic nominee for president in 2004. "But the unavoidable reality remains that week after week, vote after vote, Senate Republicans marched in lockstep to hold middle class tax cuts and unemployment insurance hostage to bonus tax cuts only for the wealthiest Americans."
The tax deal also provides for an extension of federal unemployment benefits for people who have exhausted their state benefits.
"Iím not going to stand by and see laid-off workers cut off from their lifeline or see working people take home less and less in their paychecks come January," said Kerry. "This isnít the choice we should have to make, but it is the choice we do have to make, and governing is always about choices."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.