What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Maximize the Economic Stimulus Effect of the Dividend Tax Cut and Insure That All Families, Regardless of Income, Benefit from the Child Tax Credit. (2003 senate Roll Call 151)
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S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat an Amendment Designed to Maximize the Economic Stimulus Effect of the Dividend Tax Cut and Insure That All Families, Regardless of Income, Benefit from the Child Tax Credit.
senate Roll Call 151     May 15, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss
Qualifies as polarizing?
Yes
Is this vote crucial?
No

Eliminating the dividends tax, Republicans argue, will spur economic growth and create new jobs. Unlike other provisions in the legislation to reduce taxes taking effect immediately, however, the dividends tax elimination would not take effect until 2004. Any positive economic impact caused by cutting the dividends tax, then, would be delayed. During Senate consideration of the tax cut legislation, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) offered an amendment that would have insured immediate elimination of the dividends tax (eliminating the dividends tax, at this point, was a political certainty; Democrats therefore hoped to maximize any economic stimulus produced by the tax cut as soon as possible). The Baucus amendment would have also required that all individuals who qualify for a child tax credit contained in the legislation receive the full $400 payment regardless of their income. Some low income taxpayers were not eligible for the full $400 payment as the child tax credit was originally written. Although progressives strongly opposed eliminating the dividends tax, they supported the Baucus amendment because, in their view, it was an improvement on the current proposal. Progressives also favored the proposed changes in the child tax credit as a way to provide additional relief to low income taxpayers. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) contended that the Baucus amendment was not relevant to the tax cut debate and raised a point of order against the amendment. Reconciliation rules-which apply only to budget-related legislationallow Senators to raise points of order against amendments by claiming they are not relevant to the pending legislation in order to sink the amendment (a sixty-vote majority in favor of the amendment is required to overcome the point of order). The Baucus amendment failed to attract the necessary sixty votes and was defeated 47-53.

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