UPDATE 1-Biden: US Senate should extend middle class tax cuts

* Biden declines comment on status of bipartisan talks

* Says jobs report is disappointing

(updates with Biden quotes)

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON, Dec 3 (BestGrowthStock) – Vice President Joe Biden on
Friday urged the U.S. Senate to extend tax cuts for
middle-class Americans, following the example of a politically
charged vote by the House of Representatives earlier this
week.

Biden addressed reporters at the White House during a
meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and budget
director Jack Lew, who are leading talks with congressional
leaders on a deal to extend Bush-era tax cuts that expire at
the end of the year.

He did not comment on the status of those talks.

The Senate will vote on two Democratic options to extend
some Bush-era tax cuts on Saturday. The measures are likely to
fail because of insufficient political support.

The votes will emphasize the divide between the two
political parties. Democrats want to renew tax relief for
lower- and middle-income Americans while Republicans want to
extend them for all taxpayers, including the wealthiest.

On Thursday, the House, which Democrats still control until
the end of the year, passed an extension of the Bush-era tax
cuts for family incomes of up to $250,000.

That measure is unlikely to pass the Senate, which would be
required for it to become law.

“I urge the Senate to join the House,” Biden told reporters
on Friday.

He said he would discuss with Geithner and Lew how to move
forward in the negotiations.

“We’re going to discuss how we move from here. We’re
waiting for the Senate vote,” Biden said. “We hope that we
succeed in extending a permanent middle-class tax cut.”

Biden said a November jobs report released on Friday proved
the need for an extension of tax cuts and of unemployment
insurance.

The unemployment rate in November jumped to 9.8 percent, a
troubling sign for an economy many had thought was
strengthening. Economists had expected 140,000 new jobs last
month with the jobless rate holding steady.

“There still is no denying … that the report is
disappointing because we were quite frankly hoping for even
stronger job growth,” he said of the jobs report.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Bill Trott)

UPDATE 1-Biden: US Senate should extend middle class tax cuts