HOYER: GOP NEEDS TO ACT, NOT RUN OUT THE CLOCK ON CHILD TAX CREDIT

Democratic Whip Urges President to Weigh in to Break Impasse as House Readies to Adjourn for the Week Having Failed to A

For Immediate Release:

June 19, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – As the House readied to adjourn until Monday, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding the Republican Party’s failure to act this week on extending the child tax credit increase to 12 million children of working and military families.  A unified House Democratic Caucus also used various parliamentary procedures on the House Floor this week to try to pass the Senate passed child tax credit expansion bill and send it straight to the President.  Republicans blocked every attempt:

“In just a few short hours – to be precise, when the clock strikes 6:39 tonight – it will have been one week since the House appointed conferees on legislation to extend the increase in the child tax credit to 6.5 million working families and 12 million children.

“One week, and still America waits for the GOP to summon a sense of fairness for these 12 million children who were deliberately left out in the cold by conferees on the Republican tax bill because their parents have low incomes.

“Yes, it sounds counter-intuitive to deprive low-income children of a tax credit, while more fortunate children get it.  But it makes perfect sense to this GOP.

“In fact, one week ago, when the House GOP passed a fiscally irresponsible $82 billion bill that included the child tax credit, rather than accept the Senate version costing $3.5 billion, it made its intentions perfectly clear.

“As The Wall Street Journal stated today: “[Majority Leader Tom] DeLay and others in the House deliberately made their [child tax credit] bill richer than the Senate version because they knew that the Senate conferees would walk away and pass nothing instead.”

“The clock is still ticking, but there’s still time to do what’s right for these families – 200,000 of whom are serving our nation in the armed forces – and 12 million children.

“This issue is not about egos or ideology.  It’s about achieving fairness for children.  I urge President Bush to weigh in and encourage Republicans in Congress to immediately accept the Senate version of this bill.

“Until that happens, however, Democrats will continue to mark the days, hours, minutes and seconds that have elapsed since this House appointed conferees on this bill on a laptop computer that I have set up outside my office for all to see.

“The GOP may hope this issue just fades away.  Democrats will not let that happen.”

Please visit http://democraticwhip.house.gov/ to view the “Working Families Tax Fairness Clock” on the House Democratic Whip website.

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