Levin Floor Statement on Permanent, Unpaid-for R&D Tax Credit (H.R. 880)

May 20, 2015 Issues: Economy

WASHINGTON – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) today delivered the following remarks on the House floor in opposition to H.R. 880, a bill that would permanently extend the R&D tax credit without offsets:

This debate is not about support for the R&D credit. Democrats have a long-track record of supporting the R&D tax credit, indeed I have often been the author of legislation to strengthen it.

This debate – purely and simply – is about fiscal responsibility. About taking one tax provision and making it permanent without paying one dime for it.

When former Chairman Camp unveiled a tax reform proposal last year he undertook a comprehensive consideration of the more than 50 tax provisions that expired at the end of last year, but in a fiscally responsible manner.

This bill does just the opposite. It continues a helter-skelter approach toward tax extenders, without any regard whatsoever for paying the hundreds of billions of dollars they cost to make permanent.

Last year, Ways and Means Republicans passed 14 permanent extensions at a cost of $825 billion. They went nowhere because the President has made clear his opposition to this approach.

With this bill, this year’s price tag has reached $586.3 billion. It’s particularly glaring that the Majority is passing unpaid for tax cuts the same week that they once again put off a long-term extension of highway funding because they are unable to find a revenue stream.

There is no lack of support for the R&D credit among Democrats – it is the approach they are pursuing that we object to.

Fiscally irresponsible indeed, and it would leave behind vital provisions that help hardworking American families, like the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

We stand ready to work with the Majority on tax reform – and on a long-term extension of highway funding. Today’s bill is just tax reform in reverse.

It makes talk of fiscal responsibility hypocrisy and creates another big financial pothole standing in the way of long-term highway funding.