Networks Snoozing on Hoyer Suggesting Dems Won't Vote to Continue Bush Tax Cuts for Middle Class

Between the ongoing Gulf oil spill and the McChrystal row, this story is bound to get put on the back burner, but it still deserves attention by the broadcast and cable news media.

Yesterday I wrote about the Washington Post burying its story on House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer saying that congressional Democrats were not wedded to President Obama's 2008 campaign pledge to not raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000 per year.

Asked about those remarks at yesterday's White House press briefing, Robert Gibbs said he had not seen the comments and would "be happy to look at and try to get a response after this [briefing]."

Hours later, The Hill newspaper's Alexander Bolton filed a story that noted it's not just Hoyer who's staking out this position:

Democrats are looking at the possibility of raising taxes on families below the $250,000-a-year threshold promised by President Barack Obama during the election.

The majority party on Capitol Hill does not feel bound by that pledge, saying the threshold for tax hikes will depend on several factors, such as the revenue differences between setting the threshold at $200,000 and setting it at $250,000.

“You could go lower, too — why not $200,000?” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). “With the debt and deficit we have, you can’t make promises to people. This is a very serious situation.”

Sen. Byron Dorgan (N.D.), chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, concurred, saying, “I don’t think there’s any magic in the number, whether it’s $250,000, $200,000 or $225,000.

“The larger question is whether we’ll be able to extend the tax cuts for middle-income folks,” Dorgan said. “The answer, I expect, would be yes, but we don’t quite know how it all fits in the larger picture.”

It's certainly a compelling news story in a midterm election year. Thus far, however, the broadcast network morning shows and evening newscasts have ignored the story.

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