WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this afternoon after Senate Republicans voted against invoking cloture on tax extender legislation, effectively preventing a final vote on the bill. 218 House Democrats have signed a letter supporting a fully paid-for tax extenders bill:
“It is stunning that Senate Republicans continue to stand in the way of this important legislation to extend tax relief to American businesses and families. I don’t know how many times I have to say it, but let me repeat for my Republican colleagues in the Senate: This legislation will not be considered in the House unless its costs are offset, as they were in the House-passed version.
“I again want to applaud Majority Leader Reid and Senate Democrats who agree that this legislation must be paid for, and not add to the record deficits and debt that have been run up over the last seven and one-half years by the Bush Administration and Congressional Republicans. The offsets used by Democrats to pay for this legislation – including a provision to close a loophole that allows high-income taxpayers to defer taxes through offshore tax havens – are not controversial. Nor are they opposed by the business community.
“What is most ironic about the Senate Republicans’ position is the fact that they have previously voted to offset the costs of tax extenders. I hope that over the coming days the business community and taxpayers across the nation turn up the heat on Senate Republicans and urge them to drop their fiscally irresponsible stance on this bill, and to vote for it.”