WASHINGTON — The US House of Representatives, led by President Barack Obama's Republican foes, plans to vote before its August recess on whether to extend tax cuts enacted under the previous George W. Bush administration.

"Knowing that comprehensive reform will take time, we must ensure that while Congress is working to bring about competitive change, government does not increase the cost of business," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wrote in a note to Republican representatives on Friday.

"Before we leave for August, I expect to schedule a vote on legislation preventing the largest tax increase in history."

The tax breaks passed in 2001 and 2003 were extended in late 2010 for two years after a prolonged standoff between Democrats and Republicans that ended with a compromise signed by Obama.

Obama and his fellow Democrats had initially sought to extend the tax breaks for the middle class alone -- or people making less than $250,000 per year -- and not for the wealthiest Americans.

Cantor also outlined a summer legislative program for June and July that would touch on other hot button issues, such as reversing parts of Obama's landmark health reforms, which were passed under a Democratic majority in 2010.

Photo by the Executive Office of the President of the United States via Wikimedia Commons