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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Nelson and LeMieux vote party line on extending tax cuts for all but the wealthy



Senate Republicans, joined by a few Democrats, defeated a move to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for all except the wealthiest Americans. Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson voted for the plan; Republican Sen. George LeMieux voted against.

The two measures were not expected to pass and shows that negotiations on some deal -- possibly extending them for everyone for a couple years -- will be the only way to break the impasse. But Democrats were trying to cast the Republicans as trying to protect millionaires, while Republicans were casting the move as a "massive tax hike."

Some Democrats and liberal interest groups are pushing hard for President Obama to maintain his pledge to eliminate the tax cuts for the couples who earn more than $250,000 a year and individuals who earn $200,000 or more. (more on today's action here)

Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, took another concrete step toward a run for Senate by issuing a statement condeming Nelson's votes. "Senator Bill Nelson will hear from the people of Florida at the next election ... " he says in a statement.

[Last modified: Monday, July 9, 2012 11:51am]


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