What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : H.R. 2. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Effort to Recommit to Committee 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 180)
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H.R. 2. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Effort to Recommit to Committee 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 180     May 09, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

A successful motion to recommit a measure to committee-which can only be exercised by a Congressman who opposes the legislation-is usually fatal to a piece of legislation. During debate in the House on a $550 billion tax cut proposal, Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) offered a motion to recommit the bill to the House Ways and Means Committee with instructions to substitute language that would pare down the amount provided in tax cuts to $177 billion, include smaller tax breaks for individuals and businesses, and extend unemployment benefits and grants to states to help alleviate state budget shortfalls. Congressman Bill Thomas (R-CA) raised a point of order against the Rangel motion to recommit on the grounds that the motion was not relevant to the underlying legislation. House rules dictate that instructions contained in motions to recommit must be limited to subject areas contained in the legislation under consideration; because the underlying bill did not contain language to provide unemployment benefits and aid to states, Rangel's motion to recommit was subject to a point of order. Progressives voted against the point of order (and in favor of Rangel's motion) because, in their view, the Rangel proposal achieved a more equitable distribution of tax breaks than those contained in the GOP-drafted tax cut bill. The GOP bill, for instance, included provisions to eliminate the dividends tax (dividends are corporate payouts to shareholders) and reduce the marginal income tax rate only on income earned in excess of $1,171,000; both provisions disproportionately benefited wealthy individuals and would have been scaled down had Rangel's motion to recommit been successful. The point of order against the Rangel motion was sustained on a 222- 202 vote.

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