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Thursday, September 23, 2021 10:03 PM

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A vote on extending tax cuts for U.S. couples making less than $250,000 will wait until after the election, Democratic leaders said Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., released a statement saying the upper house will "remain in session for as long as it takes to get this done" after the mid-terms, CNN reported.

"The reality is, we will not pass what needs to be passed to change this either in the Senate or the House before the election," said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the majority whip.

The tax cuts enacted by Congress in 2001 will expire at the end of 2010 unless they are extended. President Barack Obama wants to extend the cuts for couples with incomes of up to $250,000 and single filers with incomes of up to $200,000 while allowing the cuts to expire for those in higher brackets.

Republican leaders have said they want to extend all the tax cuts permanently.

Congress passes Small Business Jobs Act

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Congress Thursday enacted the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, which supporters say extends billions of dollars in credits and tax breaks.

The House approved the Senate version of the bill by a vote of 237-187.

The bill includes a $30 billion credit facility backed by the Treasury Department that will increase community bank loans to businesses, Politico reported.

It extends a temporary 100-percent exclusion from capital gains taxes for new stock acquisitions that are held for more than five years.

"The small business jobs bill passed today will help provide loans and cut taxes for millions of small business owners without adding a dime to our nation's deficit," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "After months of partisan obstruction and needless delay, I'm grateful that Democrats and a few Republicans came together to support this common-sense plan to put Americans back to work."

"Congress took a powerful step today to continue strengthening our nation's economic recovery," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement. "This common-sense legislation to accelerate tax relief and unlock credit for small businesses will help create new jobs in local communities across our nation."

Buffett: Recession 'going on for a while'

NEW YORK, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. investment icon Warren Buffett says by his "common sense" definition, the United States is still in a recession that will be going on "for a while."

Speaking Thursday on CNBC, Buffett was reacting to a report this week from the National Bureau of Economic Research saying the recession "officially" ended in June 2009.

"Well, they define it differently. We're in a recession until real per capita GDP gets back up to where it was before. That is not the way the National Bureau of Economic Research measures it," Buffett said.

"But I will tell you that to any, on any common sense definition, the average American is below where he was before, or his family, in terms of real income, GDP. We're still in a recession. And, we're not gonna be out of it for a while, but we will get out of it."

Buffett said his approximately 70 businesses are coming back slowly.

"We're 61 percent of the way back up. That's better, I think, than most businesses are in the country."

Ahmadinejad: U.S. 'orchestrated' Sept. 11

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A host of nations walked out of the U.N. General Assembly meeting Thursday when the Iranian president said the United States orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks.

Representatives of the United States, 27 European nations, the European Union, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Costa Rica walked out during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech when he said "the majority of the American people" and "most nations and politicians around the world" believe "some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order to save the Zionist regime."

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations quickly condemned Ahmadinejad's speech.

"Rather than representing the aspirations and goodwill of the Iranian people, Mr. Ahmadinejad has yet again chosen to spout vile conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic slurs that are as abhorrent and delusional as they are predictable," the mission said in a statement.

Ahmadinejad has said in the past that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington were a "a big fabrication" used "as a pretext for the campaign against terrorism and a prelude for staging an invasion against Afghanistan," The New York Times reported.

Teresa Lewis executed in Virginia

JARRATT, Va., Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Virginia Thursday executed Teresa Lewis, the only woman on the state's death row, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections said.

Larry Traylor told reporters Lewis was executed by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 9:13 p.m. EDT at the Greensville Correctional Center near Jarratt, Va., WTVR-TV, Richmond, reported. EDT. She is the first woman executed in Virginia since 1912 and the first woman executed in the United States in five years.

The 41-year-old grandmother, whose final stay request was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court this week, was executed for the Oct. 30, 2002, murder-for-hire of her husband, Julian Clifton Lewis Jr., and her stepson, Charles J. Lewis, to collect $250,000 in life insurance money.

Triggermen Matthew Jessee Shallenberger, then 29, and friend Rodney Lamont Fuller, 27, were sentenced to life terms at their separate trials. Shallenberger committed suicide in prison in 2006.

Lewis' daughter, Christie Lynn Bean, served five years because she knew about the plan but remained silent.

Lewis' lawyers and campaigners against her execution argue that Lewis is "borderline mentally retarded" and that her execution is therefore unconstitutional.

Before she was put to death, Lewis was permitted to meet with family members and a spiritual adviser, as well as other supporters, WTVR said.

Defense attorneys also contend that with a claimed IQ between 70 and 72, it was impossible for her to have masterminded the killing and that she was manipulated by one of the triggermen, WTVR reported.

(Source: UPI )


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