Friday, May 9, 2014

62 Democrats Buck Leadership and Join GOP to Extend Corporate Tax Perks

Today, the House voted to make the corporate research and development (R&D) tax credit permanent. This will add $155 billion to the deficit over the next decade, and although Republicans have demanded that an extension of emergency unemployment compensation be offset, they take no such stance when it comes to corporate giveaways.

The Democratic Party leadership, correctly, urged a NO vote because Republicans had decided to move forward with this tax credit alone, making passage of other extensions less likely. Democrats also saw it as a way to criticize GOP's double standard on deficits. (You could and should oppose it because it's a flagrant corporate giveaway, but that's asking too much of most politicians.)

Here is what House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer distributed this morning:
This bill would make the research and development (R&D) tax credit, which expired with the rest of the most recent tax extenders package at the end of calendar year 2013, permanent. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates that this permanent extension will add $155 billion to the deficit over 10 years, and Republicans have chosen to bring the bill to the Floor without providing an offset.
The R&D tax credit is the first of six permanent corporate tax extender bills approved by Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee. These six bills taken together would add $310 billion to the deficit over the next decade – 13 times the amount that it would cost to renew emergency unemployment insurance for the entire year. It is hypocritical of House Republicans - who have let emergency unemployment insurance expire for more than 2.5 million Americans, refused to provide a permanent fix to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) for Medicare payments to doctors, and failed to replace the irrational, across-the-board spending cuts imposed by the sequester all on arguments over offsets - to bring this bill to the Floor without paying for it.
House Republicans are attempting to justify this lack of a pay-for with the incorrect assertion that tax cuts pay for themselves. In fact, many economists, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and Bush Administration Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson have stated that this is simply not the case.
This bill also ignores the many other bipartisan priorities in past tax extenders packages, choosing instead to move R&D by itself. This puts several tax provisions that benefit middle class and low income Americans - like the state and local sales tax deduction, the $250 deduction for teachers who purchase supplies for their classroom, as well as incentives for renewable energy, education, and dozens of others - at risk of not being renewed.  The bill also puts in doubt the future expansion of key refundable tax credits that expire in 2017, like the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit.
Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has said that, “The people deserve a government that works for them, not one that buries them in more debt.” Unfortunately, bringing permanent, unpaid-for tax cuts to the Floor does exactly the opposite. The White House agrees and has issued a SAP stating that the President would veto this bill. If House Republicans are serious about fiscal responsibility, they should work with Democrats to find a bipartisan way to pay for making the R&D tax credit permanent, as well as other priority tax extenders, in a way that does not add to deficits and limit our ability to make the investments needed for businesses to continue to innovate, grow, and create well-paying jobs. Members are urged to VOTE NO.
The so-called American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014 passed 274 to 131. 
Despite the leadership's opposition, 62 Democrats joined 212 Republicans in supporting it:

Ron Barber (AZ-02)
John Barrow (GA-12)
Ami Bera (CA-07)
Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Bruce Braley (IA-01)
Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Lois Capps (CA-24)
Mike Capuano (MA-07)
Katherine Clark (MA-05)
Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
Joe Courtney (CT-02)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
Bill Enyart (IL-12)
Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
Bill Foster (IL-11)
Pete Gallego (TX-23)
John Garamendi (CA-03)
Joe Garcia (FL-26)
Denny Heck (WA-10)
Rush Holt (NJ-12)
Mike Honda (CA-17)
Bill Keating (MA-09)
Joe Kennedy (MA-04)
Derek Kilmer (WA-06)
Annie Kuster (NH-02)
Jim Langevin (RI-02)
John Larson (CT-01)
David Loebsack (IA-02)
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Stephen Lynch (MA-08)
Dan Maffei (NY-24)
Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Jerry McNerney (CA-09)
Mike Michaud (ME-02)
Jim Moran (VA-08)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Richard Neal (MA-01)
Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35)
Rick Nolan (MN-08)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-07)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Gary Peters (MI-14)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Linda Sánchez (CA-38)
Loretta Sanchez (CA-46)
Bradley Schneider (IL-10)
Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
John Tierney (MA-06)
Dina Titus (NV-01)
Paul Tonko (NY-20)
Timothy Walz (MN-01)

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