What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : Corporate Tax Breaks, General : Amendment to H.R.1, the stimulus package proposed by the Democrats. The amendment would substitute the proposed Republican stimulus package that added income tax rate deductions for the bottom two income tax brackets, alternative minimum tax relief, small business deductions and expensing, expanded carry back of net operating losses, improved home buyer credit, unemployment benefit tax exemption, health insurance premium deduction, repeal of the 3 percent withholding requirement for government contractors, extension of unemployment benefits, and a Sense of Congress statement against tax increases to offset outlays. (2009 house Roll Call 44)
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Amendment to H.R.1, the stimulus package proposed by the Democrats. The amendment would substitute the proposed Republican stimulus package that added income tax rate deductions for the bottom two income tax brackets, alternative minimum tax relief, small business deductions and expensing, expanded carry back of net operating losses, improved home buyer credit, unemployment benefit tax exemption, health insurance premium deduction, repeal of the 3 percent withholding requirement for government contractors, extension of unemployment benefits, and a Sense of Congress statement against tax increases to offset outlays.
house Roll Call 44     Jan 28, 2009
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment that would have effectively substituted the alternative developed by the House Republicans to H.R.1, the $787 billion dollar economic stimulus package of spending increases and tax cuts that the Democrats had developed. The amendment was co-sponsored by Rep. Camp (R-MI), the most senior Republican member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee and Rep. Cantor (R-VA), the second ranking member of the House Republican leadership. The Republicans argued that their amendment “preserves some of the best features of the (Democratic stimulus package), but eliminates hundreds of billions in wasteful spending.” The Republicans also claimed that it met the three basic elements that President Obama had said were needed in a stimulus package:
Strengthening the social safety net; providing tax relief for working families and small businesses; and accelerating infrastructure with permanent benefits.

The Camp-Cantor Amendment focused primarily on tax reductions, rather than increased spending. Among its provisions were changes that gave a tax deduction to those who paid their own health insurance costs rather than having it provided by their employers, and increased tax deductions targeted specifically to small businesses. It also provided for expanded use of net operating losses against tax liabilities. Rep. Henserling (R-TX), speaking on behalf of the Republican position, said “what is needed is an economic stimulus bill, not a big government stimulus bill.” Rep. Camp noted that the amendment was targeted primarily to tax cuts because a Congressional Budget Office study had concluded that tax cuts impact the economy faster than does new spending. Rep Rangel (D-NY), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, countered that the amendment would remove tax benefits for low and middle class Americans and the working poor, deny funds and food stamps to those who needed them, and prevent the development of infrastructure necessary for modern technology.  Rep. Pomeroy (D-ND), in his statement opposing the amendment, argued that it is “the same Republican policy that has done harm” to all but the richest Americans.

The vote on the amendment was 170 ayes and 266 nays, largely along party lines. One hundred and sixty-eight Republicans and two Democrats voted “aye”. Two hundred and fifty-seven Democrats and nine Republicans voted “nay”. As a result, the House rejected the Republican alternative to the stimulus package proposed by the Democrats.

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