What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Adequate Government Funding for a Broad Range of Human Needs : HR 4213. (Extending expiring programs, including those to help the unemployed and other items) Motion to allow an amendment that would establish a national sales tax holiday, paid for by unspent stimulus money/On the motion (2010 senate Roll Call 41)
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HR 4213. (Extending expiring programs, including those to help the unemployed and other items) Motion to allow an amendment that would establish a national sales tax holiday, paid for by unspent stimulus money/On the motion
senate Roll Call 41     Mar 04, 2010
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on whether to allow to go forward an amendment by Richard Burr, R-N.C., that would have established a national sales tax holiday and reimbursed states 75 percent on uncollected state and local sales taxes. It would pay for this with unspent money allocated by the 2009 stimulus law. The amendment was offered to a bill that would extend for varying lengths of time, mostly around a year, several programs that would otherwise have expired within a month. These include unemployment benefits, heath insurance subsidies for the unemployed, small business loans, flood insurance and other items.

Burr said his amendment would require the federal government to cover 75 percent of the economic cost of the sales tax holiday, which would be required to run for 10 days.

“We are going to ask the States to share at 25 percent in hopes that the increase in sales will more than make up for the 25-percent cost that States have incurred in the program,” Burr said. “This legislation, I believe, would provide increased consumer confidence but, more importantly, stimulate economic activity, stimulate economic activity with tax credits for employers that begin to hire back, and match that with the capital that is needed by small businesses in the way of loans. I think all of a sudden we have a formula that we can turn this economy in the right direction. It may not be a plan to sustain it, but I think what we have to overcome is the lack of confidence of the American consumer right now.”

Max Baucus, D-Mont., chided Republicans for once again attempting to redirect stimulus money.

“As Yogi Berra once said: ‘It’s deja vu all over again.’ That is where we are. We have had this amendment—not this precise amendment but many similar to it—many times, taking Recovery Act funds out,” Baucus said. “The [Congressional Budget Office] says there are 1 million to 3 million jobs the stimulus bill has created. There is more yet in the recovery package to continue to create more jobs. Now is not the time to cut back on a proven job creator.”

By a vote of 22-78, the motion to waive the rules and allow Burr’s amendment to go forward was rejected. Of Republicans present, 22 voted to waive the rules and 19 voted against it. Every Democrat present voted against waiving the rules. The end result is that the rules were not waived, the amendment was defeated and the bill went forward without language that would have created a national sales tax holiday with states being reimbursed 75 percent by the federal government, paid for with unspent stimulus funds.

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