WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats have lost a bid in the Republican-controlled House to increase taxes on high-income earners and on people who inherit million dollar-plus estates.

The Democratic plan, which was backed by President Barack Obama, fell to Republicans who insisted that a full package of Bush-era tax cuts be renewed when they expire at the end of the year. A vote on the Republican tax bill was expected later Wednesday.

The dueling votes on taxes were more about political messaging three months before Election Day than a genuine attempt to resolve the impasse over taxes.

The impasse threatens a fiscal stalemate that could result in higher payroll deductions for every worker starting in January. Tax cuts and a move to avert painful across-the-board spending cuts will top Congress' agenda after the elections.
 

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