This vote was on a motion to kill off a Republican-authored amendment that would have given a tax break to U.S. businesses.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) was opposed to the amendment but offered it during consideration of a Democratic tax-break bill. The amendment was identical to legislation championed in the House of Representatives by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA). It would give a one-year tax deduction of 20 percent to businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who also opposed the amendment, made a motion to “table” it. This would allow the Senate to set the amendment aside, essentially killing it.
Sen. Baucus argued that the amendment was a “giveaway” that would do little to spur the economy. Because the amendment would deliver larger tax breaks to businesses with larger profits, it would encourage business owners to put off hiring, buying new equipment, or taking other steps that would reduce profits in the short term, Sen. Baucus said. In effect, the amendment would discourage economic activity while inflating the federal budget deficit, he said.
“Rather than creating jobs or investing in business, the Cantor bill incentivizes the opposite. It incentivizes businesses to sit and wait rather than to invest in people or equipment,” Sen. Baucus said.
No senators spoke out in opposition to the motion to table the Cantor bill. However, Rep. Cantor has argued that his tax-break bill would help businesses offset the United States’ 35 percent corporate tax rate, which he argues is too high and discourages economic growth.
“What the bill will do is it – bottom line – will put more revenues, more money into the hands of small business owners so that they can reinvest those funds to retain and create more jobs and to grow their business,” Rep. Cantor said in a statement.
The Senate agreed to Sen. Reid’s motion to table – and essentially kill – the Cantor tax-break amendment by a vote of 73-24. Voting “yea” were 52 Democrats and 21 Republicans. Voting “nay” were 24 Republicans. As a result, the Senate killed off an amendment that would have given a tax break to more profitable businesses.