THE RACE: Obama, Republicans recycling pet plans

TOM RAUM
July 9, 2012
President Barack Obama waves in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 9, 2012, after calling on Congress to pass a temporary, one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for people who make less than $250,000 a year.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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President Barack Obama waves in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 9, 2012, after calling on Congress to pass a temporary, one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for people who make less than $250,000 a year. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

It's summer rerun time. Not just on television, but on the campaign trail and in Congress.

President Barack Obama is revising and replaying a familiar tune, calling for a one-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for households making less than $250,000 a year.

He's been trying — and failing — to raise taxes on wealthier Americans since his 2008 campaign.

Congressional Republicans, coordinating with GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney, are planning a vote soon on a rival one-year extension, but for all wage-earners, including the wealthiest.

Republicans say it would buy time for "comprehensive tax reform." In other words, they're hoping November election gains will bring them more clout next year to reshape the tax code to their liking.

All Bush tax cuts, last extended in 2010, die Dec. 31 unless renewed.

"That would be a big blow to working families," Obama said Monday in the East Room, standing before of a group of everyday Americans.

Obama's tactic carries some risk. Unlike Republicans, congressional Democrats are divided, with some wanting a $1 million threshold for higher taxes and some favoring extending all cuts until the economy improves.

House Republicans are offering their own replay vote on Wednesday to repeal Obama's health-law overhaul. The GOP-run House has already voted more than 30 times to repeal or weaken the law since its March 2010 enactment. But this is the first time since the Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality.

None of the previous House whacks at the health care law has passed the Democratic-led Senate. Repealing the overhaul is also a top priority for Romney, even though it's modeled on a plan he initiated as Massachusetts governor.

Obama will keep pushing his middle-class tax message on Tuesday in a visit to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Romney was raising funds in Aspen, Colo.

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