Week of April 26, 2004

» Please view "The Weekly Whip" for the week of April 26, 2004

Items you may want to do press on:
  • H.R. 4181 - Permanent extension of Marriage Penalty bill
  • H.R. ____ - Short-term extension of Transportation bill
  • Conference Report on H.Con.Res. 393 - Republican Budget Resolution for FY 2005
Permanent Extension of Marriage Penalty Bill
 
This bill is the first in a series of four tax bills that the House Republicans will bring to the Floor over the next month in order to provide political cover to their marginal members.  They have openly stated to the press that they don't expect these bills to become law.
 
This is a good opportunity for Democrats to reiterate their support for fiscally responsible middle-class tax relief.
 
Democrats will offer a better bill, which will permanently extend the elimination of the Marriage Penalty, provide greater tax relief for more families and will be fiscally responsible.
 
More details on the Republican and Democratic bills will be available next week.
 
 
Short-term extension of Transportation bill
 
Due to political pressure from a White House trying to appear "fiscally responsible" and internal Republican squabbling, the normally bipartisan Transportation Reauthorization bill has become bogged down.  The legislation should have been passed in 2003.
 
The current extension runs out on April 30, therefore, a two-month extension is expected to be on the Floor next week. 
 
Democrats should talk about the importance of passing this bill to meet our nation's infrastructure needs, as well as the potential to create millions of jobs in a struggling job market.  Republican squabbling has delayed delivering these benefits to the American people
 
  • Talking points prepared by the Democratic Leader
  • A state-by-state chart detailing the number of additional jobs that would have been created if a Democratic amendment offered by Lincoln Davis (D-TN) raising the funding to the Senate-passed level had been passed by the House
  • The Statement of Administration Policy issuing a veto threat for any bill over $256 billion
 
 
Conference Report on Fiscal Year 2005 Republican Budget Resolution
 
The House may consider the GOP's FY05 Budget Conference Report next week
 
It is not yet clear - though unlikely - whether the conference report will contain a real "pay-as-you-go" provision to rein in the record deficits caused by Republican policies. 
 
The Senate Budget would reinstate expired "pay-as-you-go" rules that mandate offsets for new tax cuts and entitlement spending.
 
The House Democratic Budget contained similar "pay-as-you-go" language, and Democrats offered a motion to instruct conferees to accept the Senate "pay-as-you-go" language.  Both House and Senate Republican Leaders refuse to support "pay-as-you-go" and fiscally responsible policies, and want to hide from any accountability.  
 
A vote for the Republican Conference Report will also be a vote to raise the debt limit for the third time since the Bush Administration came to office in 2001.  The debt limit was $5.9 trillion when Bush took office and had not been raised in the previous four years.  Passage of this FY05 conference report will spin off a resolution to increase the debt limit by another $700 billion that will be deemed to have passed the House.  Such an action is another attempt to hide from any accountability and will result in raising the debt limit to $8.1 trillion in FY05.
 
The GOP budget anticipates having to borrow trillions more in the future and eventually raise the debt limit to $10.4 trillion in FY09.  Last year the GOP budget anticipated a debt limit of $10.1 trillion in FY09 and over $12 trillion for FY13.
 
A vote for the conference report is, in effect, a vote to increase the debt burden by $2,000 on every man, woman, and child in the United States without any honest debate or accountability.
 
The Democratic Whip Website's Budget Clearinghouse section on Fiscal Responsibility may help you in doing press on House Democratic support for  fiscal responsibility and real "pay-as-you-go," and House Republicans' refusal to seriously tackle the ballooning deficits that are threatening Social Security, Medicare and our ability to invest in America's future.