WASHINGTON – Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) announced today the introduction of legislation (H.R. 2286) to expand the child tax credit and marriage penalty relief to working families left out of the recently signed White House-supported tax law. The bill would include an expansion of the refundable child credit, expand the refundable child credit for the families of military serving in Iraq and other combat zones, and accelerate the marriage penalty relief in the Earned Income Tax Credit that was provided in the 2001 tax bill.
“The American people were sold a false bill of goods by the Administration and the Congressional Republicans. In the middle of the night, the Republicans passed a bill that over and over again puts the interests of the wealthiest people in the country ahead of those of the ordinary American family,” said Rep. Rangel, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Ways and Means. “President Bush likes to say ‘leave no child behind’, but then happily signs a bill that denies promised child tax credit relief to millions of children.”
An estimated 19 million additional children would be assisted in 2003 if the Rangel legislation were enacted.
Another provision in the legislation would speed up marriage penalty relief for working couples who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. A couple with two children where each parent earns about $10,000 has about a $1,000 marriage penalty next year. And yet, the Republican law did not include acceleration of this marriage penalty relief.
“These groups are made up of families who work and pay Federal taxes. Many of the Republicans left behind are the same men and women who just fought for this country in Iraq. The Republican leaders of the nation they sacrificed for has decided to raid the Social Security and Medicare trust fund to give billions of dollars in tax relief to wealthy investors, but has not seen fit to include thousands of soldiers and millions of other hardworking families in their tax cut,” Rep. Rangel said.
“You will hear all sorts of excuses from the Republicans as to why this occurred. Make no mistake. The Republicans left out working families on purpose to make more room for tax cuts for the privileged few,” asserted Rep. Rangel.
“The Republicans in Congress, with the tacit approval of the White House, deliberately skimped and trimmed on the few provisions under consideration to help millions of middle- and low-income working families. Meanwhile, they enhanced provisions for the wealthy and for special interests. While they claim there was no room to give a tax cut to a soldier serving in Iraq, the Republicans found room to give the average millionaire a $93,500 tax break,” Rangel said.
Rep. Rangel introduced the bill along with Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine), the Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.), Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), and Rep. Strickland (D-Ohio).
The Ways and Means Democratic staff estimates the 10-year cost of the bill to be about $30 billion over ten years, fully off-set by provisions closing corporate tax shelters and stopping the corporate expatriation loophole.