What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : S Con Res 21. (Fiscal 2008 budget resolution), Grassley of Iowa amendment repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax/On agreeing to the amendment (2007 senate Roll Call 108)
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S Con Res 21. (Fiscal 2008 budget resolution), Grassley of Iowa amendment repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 108     Mar 23, 2007
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote occurred on an amendment by Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, that would have repealed the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Devised in 1969, the AMT was intended as a way to capture more tax revenues from a handful of very wealthy people so adept at using loopholes that they paid little into the federal treasury. But the program has come under scrutiny in recent years, because an increasing number of middle-class taxpayers have found themselves subject to the tax. This is largely because the AMT's formulas do not account for inflation or recent tax cuts.

The amendment was offered to the budget resolution that serves as the blueprint for Congress' budget priorities in fiscal 2008. The budget resolution sets overall spending targets for the Appropriations committees and outlines other budget rules.

"Except for the telephone tax, the alternative minimum tax is the phoniest tax we have ever passed," Grassley said. "This very year, more than 2,000 people who are very wealthy are not paying any income tax or AMT. So it's not even working and hitting the people it is supposed to hit."

Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., opposed the amendment, saying the budget resolution is not the appropriate place to deal with the AMT. In addition, Conrad said Grassley's amendment would have the effect of reducing federal tax revenues over the next 5 years by $533 billion, "plunging us right back into deficit."

"There will be no increase in the number of people affected by the AMT for the next two years under the budget resolution, and that is paid for. Unfortunately, this is not paid for," Grassley said.

The Senate defeated the amendment 44-53. Every Democrat voted against it. All but three Republicans voted for it: Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Olympia Snowe of Maine, and George Voinovich of Ohio. Thus, the budget resolution went forward without language that would have repealed the AMT.

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