Senator Brown is opposed to allowing tax cuts for the wealthy to expire

By Donovan Slack, Globe Staff

Senator Scott Brown remains opposed to President Obama’s plan to allow tax cuts for the wealthy to expire while extending those for middle-income filers, even though the Republican leader in the House signaled yesterday that he is open to compromise.

House minority leader Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio said that if he had no other choice he would back Obama’s plan, paving the way for the measure to pass the House and placing the focus squarely on the Senate, where Brown could once again be called on to cast the crucial swing vote.

A spokeswoman for Brown declined to comment on whether he would be willing to compromise but said his stance has not changed since last week.

Tax increases will kill jobs and hurt the chances for an economic recovery,”  spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said.

That stance puts him firmly in the camp of Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who told the Associated Press today that all 41 Republicans are opposed to Obama’s plan but declined to say if they planned to filibuster. McConnell has said he won’t pass it until cuts for the wealthy are also included.

The cuts, passed in 2001 and 2003, are set to expire at the end of this year unless Congress takes action.

Obama wants to eliminate the cuts for wealthier taxpayers — individuals making more than $200,000 per year and families with income totaling more than $250,000.

If the sides cannot reach agreement and all the cuts are allowed to expire, families in Massachusetts whose total income is between $66,000 and $97,000 would see an average increase in their tax bill of $1,831.

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