What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : H.R. 2. Tax Reductions/Vote to Allow Consideration of a Conference Report Containing $350 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 224)
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H.R. 2. Tax Reductions/Vote to Allow Consideration of a Conference Report Containing $350 Billion in Tax Cuts That Mainly Benefit Wealthy Individuals Which Would Reduce Federal Revenue and Likely Necessitate Cuts in Domestic Spending.
house Roll Call 224     May 22, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

When legislation passes the House and Senate in different versions, a conference committee is convened to reconcile the differences between the two bills and produce a conference report; the final version of the measure. The conference report is then reintroduced in both chambers of Congress for final approval. If both the House and Senate agree to the conference report, the measure is then sent to the White House for a presidential signature or veto. On this vote, Republicans sought to move the previous question (thereby ending debate and the possibility of amendment) on a rule to allow for House consideration of the conference report providing $350 billion over eleven years in tax reductions. Before legislative matters can be considered in the House, a rule must be adopted to set parameters on debate (rules are drafted by the House Rules Committee which functions on behalf of the majority party leadership). In the view of Progressives, the tax-cut conference report was overly-generous to high-income individuals and failed to include enough tax reductions for low and middle income taxpayers. Provisions in the conference report, for instance, would cut taxes on capital gains and dividend income and reduce the highest marginal income tax rate (which applies only to income above $1,171,000) from 39.6% to 35%. These tax breaks, Progressives argued, would disproportionately benefit wealthy taxpayers and inflate future federal budget deficits. Despite unanimous opposition from the Democrats, the motion to allow for House consideration of the conference report was adopted on a 221-205 vote.

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