Press Release ● Tax and Appropriations
For Immediate Release: 
April 28, 2004
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) made the following statement on the House Floor today in support of the fiscally responsible Democratic Marriage Penalty Elimination Bill, and in opposition of the irresponsible GOP bill that will contribute to the already out-of-control deficits:

“The Marriage Penalty bill that House Republicans have put on the Floor today is absolutely divorced from the fiscal reality that confronts our nation. 

“Just think.  In three and one-half years, the Republican Party has turned a projected budget surplus of $5.6 trillion over ten years into a deficit of more than $4 trillion.  This year alone, the federal government is expected to run a record deficit of half a trillion dollars!  And that figure doesn’t even include the $50 billion to $75 billion that virtually everyone agrees will be needed for our war efforts.

“So, what do our Republican friends propose here today?  A tax bill that will cost an estimated $105 billion over the next decade – not one nickle of which is paid for.  That’s right.  With a fiscal crisis looming, House Republicans would drive us deeper into debt because as the Chairman of the Budget Committee (Mr. Nussle) said in March (and I quote):  ‘We don’t believe that you should have to pay for tax cuts.’  Well, my Republican friends, you don’t.  But our children and grandchildren surely will.

“Now, make no mistake: Democrats strongly support marriage penalty relief because married couples should not have to pay more in taxes than they would as unmarried individuals filing separately.  And, as a result, members have a choice today.  They can vote for the fiscally irresponsible Republican bill.  Or they can vote for the superior Democratic substitute – every penny of which is paid for.

“The Democratic substitute is fiscally responsible, and it ensures that the benefits of the bill are not nullified by the Alternative Minimum Tax – an issue the Republican bill fails to even address.

“I urge my colleagues: vote for the Democratic substitute.  Vote for marriage penalty relief and vote for fiscal responsibility.  The failure to pay for tax cuts not only threatens our economic future, but also is an immoral abdication of our responsibility to pay our own bills.”