Week of June 16, 2003

 

» Please view below the "Weekly Whip" outlining the Floor Schedule for the week of June 16, 2003.

Floor items that you may want to do press on:

H.R. 8 - Estate Tax Repeal Permanency Act

H.R. 1528 - Taxpayer Protection and IRS Accountability Act


H.R. 8 - Estate Tax Repeal Permanency Act

Next week, the House is expected to vote on H.R. 8.  Under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (enacted June 7, 2001), the estate tax is scheduled to be repealed in 2010 but reinstated in 2011.  All tax cut provisions of EGTRRA are scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2010.  H.R. 8 would permanently repeal the estate tax.

Democrats intend to fight H.R. 8, and will attempt to offer an alternative that provides relief for family farms and small businesses without contributing to the country's record deficits.  H.R. 8 is fiscally irresponsible.  It includes no offsets, and thus its costs would only add to projected budget deficits.  Furthermore, the permanent repeal of the estate tax is grossly unfair, benefiting the heirs of the wealthiest estates in America.

Attached is information from the Office of the Democratic Whip, the Office of Representative Earl Pomeroy and the Democratic Staff of the Committee on Ways and Means to assist you in doing press on H.R. 8:

Ø      Two op-eds by William Gates, Sr., in opposition to total repeal of the estate tax that appeared in the Washington Post

Ø      Column by E.J. Dionne against total repeal of the estate tax

Ø      Helpful website links: Americans for a Fair Estate Tax, Responsible Wealth (associated with Bill Gates, Sr.) and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP also will be issuing a new report early in the week of June 16th)

Ø      Issue brief on GOP Estate Tax Bill provided by the Democratic Staff of the Ways and Means Committee (this issue brief is from 2002, the basic arguments continue to be applicable, however figures are in the process of being updated)

Ø      Draft Op-ed by Congressman Earl Pomeroy regarding his draft estate tax legislation.   The Democratic substitute likely will be largely based on Mr. Pomeroy's draft bill, however figures used are subject to change.

H.R. 1528 - Taxpayer Protection and IRS Accountability Act

This bill was scheduled for consideration on the Suspension calendar on April 8 and under a rule last week but was pulled due to controversy regarding a provision that strikes important health insurance standards protecting laid-off workers.

This is the third time that Ways and Means Chairman Thomas has insisted on bringing this waiver to the floor on an unrelated, otherwise uncontroversial bill.

Were it not for this issue, the underlying improvements made by H.R. 1528 would likely be law by now.

The underlying bill contains nearly fifty technical changes and provisions aimed at easing tax administration regulations and benefit taxpayers.

Democrats may present a substitute.

Attached is information from the Office of the Democratic Whip to assist you in doing press on H.R. 1528:

Ø       A summary of H.R. 1528, the controversial health insurance provision, and the Democratic Substitute

Ø      A letter from the United Steelworkers of America in opposition to the controversial health insurance provision contained in H.R. 1528