What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) amendment to extend through 2012 certain tax breaks for investments made by small businesses/Motion to table (2007 senate Roll Call 37)
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Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) amendment to extend through 2012 certain tax breaks for investments made by small businesses/Motion to table
senate Roll Call 37     Jan 31, 2007
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This vote was on a motion to table an amendment by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) that would have extended certain tax breaks for small businesses through 2012. Under current law, small businesses can expense $100,000 of qualified business investments in the first year that the equipment or property is placed into service. The level is indexed for inflation, and the 2007 expensing limit is $112,000. But after 2009, the expensing limit drops down to $25,000 a year. The Senate had already approved an amendment authored by Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) that would have extended these tax breaks through 2010, a one-year extension over current law. Kyl's measure would amend Baucus' to extend the so-called increased expensing levels through 2012, which amounts to a three-year extension. "We know that this immediate expensing has been critical to supporting economic growth. We, also, know that small businesses account for about 60 percent of the cost that is imposed as a result of the increase in the minimum wage that is in the underlying bill," Kyl said, adding that the businesses he has talked to indicated that this extension would be the best way to help them continue to grow. Kyl was not optimistic his amendment would pass, however, and he said as much before the vote. For his part, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee Chairman Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) accused Kyl and the Republicans of using multiple amendments proposing tax breaks as a way to stall the bill to increase the minimum wage, legislation which most Republicans oppose. "We're up to 24 days where we have debated the minimum wage on the floor of the Senate without getting an increase, 24 days we have debated, an issue as simple as going from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour should not take all that period of time," Kennedy said on the floor, adding that the Democrats have been ready to vote, "But, no, there are those on the other side who have a series of amendments and they have them now." Kennedy added that the minimum wage bill "is not an omnibus tax bill," nor "an opportunity for Members to present their tax cut wish list." Only Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) broke with party ranks and voted against the motion to table. Otherwise, every Senator who caucuses with the Democrats voted to table Kyl's amendment, and every Republican voted against it. With Democrats holding a narrow majority, the motion to table thus passed 49-48, and the Senate moved one step closer to holding an up-or-down vote on a bill to increase the minimum wage without Kyl's tax-breaks attached.

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