What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : Corporate Tax Breaks, General : H.R. 2. Tax Reductions/Vote to Allow Consideration of a Bill Containing $550 Billion in Tax Cuts That Mainly Benefit Wealthy Individuals Which Would Reduce Federal Revenue and Likely Necessitate Cuts in Domestic Spending. (2003 house Roll Call 178)
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H.R. 2. Tax Reductions/Vote to Allow Consideration of a Bill Containing $550 Billion in Tax Cuts That Mainly Benefit Wealthy Individuals Which Would Reduce Federal Revenue and Likely Necessitate Cuts in Domestic Spending.
house Roll Call 178     May 09, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

In a move intended to spur the anemic economy, the Bush Administration proposed and Congress enacted a $1.35 trillion tax cut package in 2001. In 2003, President Bush again pushed for tax reductions. The administration's 2003 tax cut proposal would eliminate the dividends tax (dividends are corporate payouts to shareholders) and reduce the highest marginal income tax rate (the highest rate applies only to income in excess of $1,171,000). The cost of the 2003 tax cut package to the U.S. Treasury was originally valued at $726 billion but was later pared down to $550 billion during negotiations between the House and Senate because a majority of Senators were unwilling to enact tax cuts in excess of $550 billion. The subject of this vote was a motion to move the previous question, thereby ending debate and the possibility of amendment, on a rule to provide for House consideration of the $550 billion tax cut measure. Before legislation can be considered in the House, a rule drafted by the House Rules Committee (which is in effect an arm of the majority party leadership) must be adopted. Progressives opposed the rule and voted against the motion to cut off debate because they considered the tax cut proposal as heavily favoring wealthy individuals at the expense of low and middle income taxpayers. Moreover, Progressives worried that the tax cuts would significantly increase federal budget deficits in future years and would potentially require drastic spending cuts in areas such as Medicare, Social Security, and education. Democrats voted unanimously in opposition to the motion to move the previous question but the motion was adopted on a straight party-line vote of 219-203.

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