What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat a Substitute Measure Designed to Stimulate the Economy by Providing Assistance to Workers and Low-Income Individuals. (2003 senate Roll Call 160)
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S. 1054. Tax Reductions/Procedural Vote to Defeat a Substitute Measure Designed to Stimulate the Economy by Providing Assistance to Workers and Low-Income Individuals.
senate Roll Call 160     May 15, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

Democrats and others have questioned the effectiveness of President Bush's strategy of providing tax reductions for highincome earners as a way to jumpstart the struggling economy. During debate on the tax-cut bill, Senator Bob Graham (DFL) offered an alternative economic recovery plan which would have: 1) provided an income tax credit for workers; 2) increased the amount that small businesses could deduct for investments in machinery and equipment; 3) directed $40 billion in temporary aid to states; and 4) extended federal unemployment benefits for workers who have lost their jobs. Progressives viewed Graham's economic plan as an effective approach for spurring the stagnant economy because it would have provided assistance to those most in need; in their view, enacting tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy-such as the dividends tax cut contained in the GOP-proposal-does not foster economic growth. Graham's proposal was subject to a point of order by Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) on the grounds that it was not relevant to the tax cut measure under consideration. Debate on budget-related legislation-which, according to recent rulings by the Senate parliamentarian, includes tax cut legislation-is governed by reconciliation rules set forth in the Budget Act of 1974. Those rules allow Senators to raise points of order against amendments by claiming that they are not relevant to the pending legislation in order to defeat the amendment. To overcome a point of order, a sixty-vote majority is required in support of the amendment. The Graham bill failed to attract the necessary sixty votes and was rejected 35-65.

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