What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : H.R. 2. Tax Reductions/Passage 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 senate Roll Call 196)
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H.R. 2. Tax Reductions/Passage 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.
senate Roll Call 196     May 23, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

The House-passed tax cut bill contained $550 billion in reductions while the Senate bill included $350 billion. To reconcile the differences between the two bills, a conference committee was convened (which includes conferees from both legislative bodies) to create a compromise between the two bills; the final version of the legislation which is then introduced into the House and Senate for approval. The subject of this vote was final passage of a conference report containing $350 billion in tax reductions over eleven years (in conference, Senate conferees were unwilling to include any additional tax breaks and the final measure reflected their opposition). Provisions in the bill would lower taxes on dividend income and capital gains to fifteen percent, and income tax breaks enacted in 2001 which were to take effect in 2006 would be accelerated. The conference report would also $20 billion in aid to states, and the child tax credit would be increased to $1000 after 2004. Progressives viewed the conference report as an improvement over the House-passed measure but, in their view, the bill still contained an excessive amount in tax breaks for wealthy individuals and an inadequate amount of tax reductions that would benefit middle and low income taxpayers. Progressives also argued that the bill would significantly increase federal budget deficits and would necessitate future tax increases or spending cuts in important domestic programs such as education and Social Security to balance the federal budget. The vote on the conference report was a 50-50 tie. Vice President Cheney, acting in his capacity as the President of the Senate (which allows him to break tie votes), voted in favor of the conference report and the measure passed 51-50.

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