Grassley: Senate Vote on Raising Taxes Comes During Struggling Economy


TO:    Reporters and Editors

RE:    Preventing a Tax Increase

DA:    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sen. Chuck Grassley made the comment below about Senate votes this afternoon to extend expiring tax relief.  Sen. Grassley served as Chairman of the tax-writing Finance Committee in 2001 and 2003 and co-authored the tax relief, which passed with bipartisan support.  The first vote today was on S. 3412, the Senate Democratic Majority Leader’s bill to increase the estate tax and the top two tax rates.  The second vote was on S. 3413, the Senate Republicans’ bill to extend all of current tax policy for one year, including the estate tax, and top rate for dividend income.  It also extends small business expensing and provides an alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch for two years.

Grassley comment:

“It’s time for these tax issues to be addressed.  Uncertainty about taxes and federal regulations is a major damper on the economy.  I hear about it directly from Iowans at my town meetings.  If the 2001 tax relief, the bipartisan legislation I got through a 50-50 Senate, is allowed to expire at the end of the year, it would be one of the biggest tax increases in history.  Employers at the grass roots – the job-creating small businesses of America – need and deserve certainty.

“When this tax relief was extended in 2010, 40 Democratic senators voted for it.  President Obama supported it, too, and said that raising taxes ‘would have been a blow to our economy.’  He also said at the beginning of his presidency that ‘you don’t raise taxes in a recession.’  Today, the economy continues to struggle, and experts say raising taxes on small businesses – which both President Obama’s and Senator Reid’s bills do – would hurt workers and job creation.  

“The answer to America’s fiscal challenge isn’t higher taxes.  In fact, the President's budget proposal this year increased taxes on job creators to spend more on government programs rather than to reduce deficits and debt.  His plan would have increased the national debt $10 trillion over the next ten years.  The Senate Democratic majority hasn’t offered or passed a budget for more than three years.

“Those in charge of running the Senate have failed to lead on these important issues.  At least there is some accountability today, with the outcome of these votes determined by a simple majority, so no senator could mask his or her position in a procedural vote.”