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Dems Diverge From Obama on Taxes

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President Barack Obama’s renewed push to raise taxes on people who make more than $250,000 is facing some strong head winds: Democrats running for Congress in 2012.

Several Democrats in critical House and Senate races say they prefer raising taxes on people who make more than $1 million, the latest example of how the president and vulnerable Democrats are mounting diverging campaigns just four months from Election Day.

Democratic Florida Sen. Bill Nelson’s “favored” position is to permanently extend the Bush-era tax cuts for those making less than $1 million, according to his office. Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, the North Dakota Senate candidate, also wants to extend the tax cuts for those making less than $1 million. Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, who’s running again in his home state, “believes the $250,000 limit is too low but is evaluating how specific proposals would affect the budget,” his campaign spokesman said.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said Monday she is “open” to extending all the tax cuts for those who earn up to $1 million if it’s part of a comprehensive deal to rein in the deficit. Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) supports extending tax relief for those families earning up to $1 million, though she said she’s also “open” to all middle-class tax relief and backs the president’s latest call.

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