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Senate OKs Democrats' tax-cut bill in showdown with GOP

House Speaker John Boehner, (R-Ohio), talks to reporters

House Speaker John Boehner, (R-Ohio), talks to reporters following a closed-door political strategy session at the Capitol in Washington as the Senate braced for a tax-cut showdown. (July 24, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

WASHINGTON — The Senate has voted to approve a Democratic bill renewing tax cuts next year for all but the highest-earning Americans.

The partisan 51-48 vote was a victory for Democrats and averted what would have been a campaign-season embarrassment for them and the White House. The bill closely follows the tax-cutting vision of President Barack Obama.

The measure would extend tax cuts in 2013 that otherwise would expire in January. It would deny those reductions to individuals making over $200,000 and couples earning at least $250,000.

Democrats said omitting the rich from the reductions was an equitable way for the wealthy to contribute to deficit-reduction efforts. Republicans say the higher levies would hurt job creation because many of the wealthy own companies.

The bill will go nowhere in the GOP-run House.

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