WASHINGTON – Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and members of the Democratic Caucus today announced that they would introduce legislation to counter the Republican tax bill, which excluded millions of working families from tax relief in the form of a child tax credit. The following is Rep. Hoyer’s statement as prepared for delivery:
“We are here today to draw attention to the Republicans’ indefensible decision to leave behind millions of America’s neediest children. The last time I stood at this podium was to celebrate the Republicans’ finally agreeing with Democrats on extending unemployment benefits for millions of unemployed Americans. Now Democrats are trying to fix another injustice perpetrated by the Republican Congress and President Bush. Something that we do on issue after issue after issue. The Republican tax bill was a series of conscious, deliberate choices that painted a very clear picture of Republican priorities for the American people.
“In their tax bill, the Republicans chose rich over poor, millionaires over working families and children, and tax cuts that they have wanted for years for other reasons over tax cuts that will stimulate the economy. To fit a 10 pound tax cut into a 5 pound bag, they made the decision to preserve the dividend tax cut that most economists say won’t stimulate the economy and drop the provision to provide a child tax credit for the poorest Americans – some of whom might not pay income taxes but who pay plenty of other taxes.
“These Americans would also spend the money, immediately stimulating the economy and helping to create jobs. Democrats had a jobs and growth package that would have provided the child tax credit to the families that the Republicans chose to leave behind. We knew that this money would stimulate the economy and that it was the right thing to do. Let’s be clear: this benefit could have been provided – as it was under the Democratic alternative that this majority refused to even allow the members to vote on – simply by limiting the reduction in the highest marginal tax rate to 35.3 percent rather than 35 percent.
“But in the negotiations on this tax bill, fairness was cut out and left on the conference room floor. While millions of working-class Americans will receive no tax relief at all, our friends on the Republican side of the aisle ensured that the Bush class would prosper even more. Under this bill, the 184,000 taxpayers with incomes of more than $1 million will receive an average tax cut of $93,500.
“We have introduced this bill and if we aren’t given the opportunity that democracy demands then we will end business as usual on the House floor. This is the people’s house, not the Republicans’ house, not the house of Tom Delay, and the 140 million people that we represent have a right to be heard.”