What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : S. Con. Res. 23. Fiscal 2004 Budget Resolution/Vote to Table (Kill) an Amendment Designed to Cap the Total Amount Provided in Tax Cuts Contained in the Bill. (2003 senate Roll Call 75)
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S. Con. Res. 23. Fiscal 2004 Budget Resolution/Vote to Table (Kill) an Amendment Designed to Cap the Total Amount Provided in Tax Cuts Contained in the Bill.
senate Roll Call 75     Mar 21, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

Tax reductions contained in the 2004 budget resolution amount to $1.34 trillion; $726 billion of that total is scheduled to take effect immediately upon passage of the resolution. Wary of looming budget deficits, Senator John Breaux offered an amendment to the budget resolution (see Roll Call Vote 76) to reduce--from $726 billion to $350 billion--the amount in tax reduction to take effect immediately. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) then offered an amendment to Breaux's proposal further reducing the amount of tax cuts contained in the budget resolution. Harkin's amendment would impose a cap of $350 billion on all tax cuts regardless of whether they are implemented in the first year or in future years of the budget resolution (budget resolutions set congressional spending priorities for multiple years; the current resolution, for instance, allocates federal spending over a period of ten years). Progressives strongly oppose the Bush Administration's effort to enact sweeping tax cuts--most of which are targeted to individuals in the highest income bracket--and therefore support Harkin's amendment as a way to impede the implementation of tax reductions. Historically, the federal government has increased domestic spending to spur economic growth during times of recession; the tax cuts proposed by the Bush Administration contained in the budget resolution take the exact opposite approach and threaten to stifle domestic spending in future years by reducing federal revenues. On this vote, Senator Don Nickles (R-OK) offered a motion to table (or strike down) the Harkin amendment. Fifty-eight Senators supported the Nickles motion and were therefore able to strike the Harkin amendment from the Breaux amendment by a margin of 58-42 (remember the Harkin measure sought to amend the Breaux proposal; by Senate rules, the amendment attached to another amendment is voted upon first). The Breaux amendment was subsequently rejected by the Senate on a 38-62 vote (see Roll Call Vote 76) and the amount provided in tax cuts remained intact.

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