Washington Republicans in Congress reached agreement Tuesday on a five-year, $70 billion measure to extend tax breaks for investors and prevent more middle-income families from being hit by a tax aimed at the wealthy.
The bill would hand President Bush one of his top tax priorities, a two-year extension of the reduced 15 percent tax rate for capital gains and dividends, currently set to expire at the end of 2008. Republicans credit the tax cuts, enacted in 2003, with boosting economic growth and creating many jobs.
The measure also would keep 15 million families from being hit this year with the alternative minimum tax, which was designed to make sure the wealthy paid taxes but is ensnaring more and more middle-income families because it is not indexed for inflation.
The accord paves the way for House approval today. The Senate could clear the bill for Bush's desk by week's end.