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This bill is the vehicle for the deal brokered by Senator McConnell and Vice President Biden to avert the "fiscal cliff". While it extends the 2001, 2003 and 2009 tax cuts and credits for most Americans, it allows them to expire on those earning over $450,000 per year. The bill also contains a $30 billion extension of unemployment benefits, and reauthorizes the 2008 Farm Bill for nine months.
H.R. 8 allows the payroll tax holiday to expire, effectively raising taxes on 77% of taxpayers, yet extends dozens of tax credits and deductions that amount to corporate welfare for special interests. It also fails to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to all Americans, thus raising taxes at a time when economic growth is desperately needed.