For Immediate Release:
September 25, 2008
Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130
(202) 225 - 3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) today spoke on the House Floor in support of the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“I support this bill for two reasons. First, because it provides essential tax relief to American families and businesses. And second—and just as importantly—because it is paid for.
“Of the tax credits extended by this bill, some of the most necessary are those that support renewable energy and energy efficiency. Business and political leaders agree. This summer, 51 state governors sent us a letter, which read, in part: ‘Extending tax incentives for energy efficiency and conservation will slow the growth of future energy needs, minimize ratepayers costs, and lessen potential environmental impacts.’
“New energy technologies may not end the pain of $4 a gallon gas in the short term. But those technologies, which this bill helps to support, are the only long-term solution to our energy crunch. And in the mean time, alternative energy tax credits will create tens of thousands of American jobs.
“Now, I was proud that the House passed a bill expanding domestic production of oil just this month. But a country that controls less than 3% of the world’s oil supply, while using more than a quarter, cannot drill its way out of that fundamental problem. That is why I’m glad to see the House consider farsighted legislation like this. But I don’t just support the goals of this bill—I support it because its tax credits are not financed by even more debt.
“The means used to pay for this legislation are not controversial. They include a provision to close a loophole that allows hedge fund managers and other high-income corporate executives to defer taxes through offshore tax havens. A large majority of the business community agrees that we should close that loophole. So do majorities in the House and Senate. Only a Republican minority in the Senate is putting high-income tax loopholes above fiscal sanity. They are insisting, instead, that we pay for this bill with borrowed money.
“I understand the bind that presents for principled Senate Democrats. But fiscal responsibility is not something we can compromise on, especially now—in a time of financial crisis brought on, in part, by massive fiscal irresponsibility.
“Mr. Speaker, no matter how much we value this extenders bill, it is simply wrong to pay for it by once more whipping out the national credit card. That is the kind of thinking that swung the Clinton surplus deep into record debt under President Bush, led to more foreign borrowing by this Administration than by the first 42 Administrations put together, and helped to create a crisis of confidence in our financial system. Charging our children and our grandchildren for our priorities is deeply unwise and, I would suggest, immoral.
“This year, Senator Bob Corker was one of the few Republicans to bravely break with his party and insist that this bill be paid for. He said: ‘It’s the first time in a long time I thought we had something that was intellectually honest. And I have to tell you my big fear is our tremendous lack of fiscal discipline.’
“That fear of more debt is entirely reasonable, and I am glad more and more Members of Congress are coming to share it.
“I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I encourage the Senate to work with us to fund it in a fiscally responsible way.”