Floor Statement Urging Passage of Senate-Passed Tax Cut Bill

Aug 1, 2012

Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) today made the following statement on the House floor urging immediate House passage of the Senate-passed tax cut bill to extend the middle class tax cuts:

Everyone in this body agrees we should extend the middle class tax cuts. The Senate has passed a bill that does just that. The President is ready to sign it this week. The middle class families of this country need certainty, not some vague promises about something to be done in the future.

So if everyone agrees that we should extend the middle class tax cuts why don’t we come together? The Senate-passed bill continues all of the tax cuts for every American household on their first $250,000 of income. One hundred and fourteen million families would see their tax cuts extended in full. Ninety-seven percent of small businesses would keep all of their tax cuts. Ninety-seven percent. 

Why don’t the Republicans join us in acting? The answer is clear. Their priority is cutting taxes of the very wealthy in this country. They want to give households that earn more than $1 million a year a tax cut – on average – of $160,000 next year. That's over 70 times larger for millionaires than for typical families. It would add an additional $49 billion to the deficit compared to our plan.

The Republican bill would raise taxes on 25 million Americans who have benefited from the EITC, the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which helps make college more affordable for middle class families and which Republicans would eliminate.

Still worse, the bill that we are going to discuss tomorrow – so called “tax reform” – essentially would provide someone earning more than $1 million a $331,000 tax cut. This debate is not about tax reform. It's about whether or not Republicans protect the very wealthy at all costs. At all costs.

Their talk about 700,000 job losses. The study they are relying on was financed by their special interest friends and has been discredited by fact checkers. Income inequality is rising rapidly in America in 2010, 93 percent of income growth went to the top 1 percent of wealthiest households. 93 percent. And they come here and show that their first priority is protecting the very wealthy. This isn't about tax reform. This is about whether the first priority of the Republicans is protecting the very wealthy, holding hostage middle income families. Let middle income family hostages be released. Join together for what everybody says they are for. Let's pass today our substitute and extend the middle class tax cut.