WASHINGTON, July 25 (Reuters) - A bid by Democrats to renew low tax rates on the first $250,000 of household income won passage in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, though the vote was largely symbolic and it is acknowledged by Democratic leaders that the bill will be dead on arrival at the Republican-led House of Representatives.
The Senate voted 51-48, largely along party lines, to pass the measure, which would allow tax rates to rise on Jan. 1 for those earning more than $250,000, a move Republicans charge would hurt job growth. A Republican alternative to extend current tax rates on all income levels was rejected on a mostly party-line vote.
Vice President Joe Biden announced the votes in the Senate Chamber. The dueling votes amount to political theater in the run-up to the November 6, presidential and congressional elections. Lawmakers are seen making a more serious effort to avert the pending tax hikes in a post-election session. (Reporting by Donna Smith; Editing by Jackie Frank)