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Will Congress pass crucial legislation before Christmas break?

Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 5:50pm

Tax cuts are on hold on Capitol Hill.

As time runs out for Congress to lock in the current rates, angry Democrats are slowing down the process.

At the same time, Republicans are slowing down the rest of what Democratic leaders are trying to rush through.

Snow falling did not cool the anger inside the Capitol.

"This is so irresponsible, it contradicts everything as Democrats that we've been fighting for," Maryland Representative Donna Edwards said of the compromise tax bill.

It includes no tax hike on the rich and lower estate taxes for the mega-rich.

House Democrats hate the Obama-backed tax bill, even though the President and Republicans say it will fire up the economy.

"Please America, please don't believe that," said New York Representative Louis Slaughter. "That's not what we're doing here today. We're not doing anything to benefit this economy."

What Democrats did was slow down the tax bill.

In the Senate, Republicans are trying to stop the Democrat's 2011 budget.

The Pentagon has warned that failure to vote could cut funding for the war in Afghanistan.

Democrats claim it's urgent.

"I don't think that's really what the American people want, to run out the clock," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

If Republicans stall until January they'll have more votes.

"Once the new Congress is sworn in, we'll have a chance to pass a less expensive bill," said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

House Democrats see the same reality.

"The Republicans will rule this House for the next two years! Let's not give 'em an early start today!" urged Texas Representative Lloyd Doggett.

If the House and Senate can't agree, everyone's taxes go up on New Years Day.

An NBC polls finds blame for that would be shared almost equally by Democrats and Republicans.

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