What: All Issues : Education, Humanities, & the Arts : S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Increase Funding for Higher Education by Retaining (Rather Than Reducing) the Highest Marginal Income Tax Rate. (2003 senate Roll Call 164)
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S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Increase Funding for Higher Education by Retaining (Rather Than Reducing) the Highest Marginal Income Tax Rate.
senate Roll Call 164     May 15, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

The GOP-plan to stimulate the stagnant economy would, among other things, reduce the highest marginal income tax rate. That rate was 39.6% and applied only to income in excess of $1,171,000; Republicans argued that reducing that rate would create economic growth. During Senate debate on the tax cut bill, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) proposed an amendment which would have maintained the 39.6% rate and used the revenue for financial aid programs in higher education. Progressives supported Schumer's effort because, in their view, providing additional financial resources for students to attend college takes precedence over cutting taxes for individuals who earn in excess of one million dollars annually. A point of order was raised by Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) against Schumer's amendment on the grounds that is was not relevant to the tax cut measure under consideration. Debate on budget-related legislation-which, according to recent rulings by the Senate parliamentarian, includes tax cut legislation-is governed by reconciliation rules in accordance with the Budget Act of 1974. Those rules allow Senators to points of order against amendments by claiming that they are not relevant to the pending legislation in order to reject the amendment. To overcome a point of order, a sixty-vote majority is required in support of the amendment. The Schumer amendment failed to attract the necessary sixty votes and was defeated 49-51.

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