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Congress: Raising the white flag -- for now

Per the New York Times, “Senate Democrats said Thursday that they would postpone a highly contentious floor fight over what to do about the expiring Bush-era tax cuts until after the November elections, a decision that spares some politically vulnerable incumbents from casting a potentially difficult vote to let taxes rise for the rich. Democrats said they would still fight to end the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans when they return for a lame-duck session. But the delay increases the likelihood of a compromise with Republicans who have insisted that the lower rates continue for everyone, at least temporarily, given the weak economy.”

Politico on the Dems’ decision: “After all the bold talk, it’s a remarkable turnaround — and loss of nerve — that all but ensures that the House also won’t act before going home next week.”

“On a 237-187 vote, the House on Thursday approved a $42 billion bill to provide aid to small businesses. The Senate approved the legislation last week, and President Obama plans to sign the legislation on Monday.”

"Senate Democrats again failed to advance stalled campaign finance legislation on Thursday, dealing another blow to the bill's chances of final passage," The Hill reports. "The legislation, known as the Disclose Act, is intended as a response to a Supreme Court decision earlier this year that relaxed limits on political spending by corporations and unions. A cloture vote Thursday afternoon to move forward on the legislation failed 59-39. Sixty votes were needed for passage. Centrist GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe's (Maine) announcement earlier Thursday that she would again vote against the legislation, which came after she'd cast doubt on its constitutionality, virtually confirmed the second cloture vote would fail."