Press Release ● Tax and Appropriations
For Immediate Release: 
May 13, 2004
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen

WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) today criticized the latest Republican attempt to foist irresponsible tax bills on the American people.  Instead of supporting a paid-for Democratic substitute that would extend the 10 percent bracket through 2010, and make the tax cuts permanent after 2010 contingent on balancing the budget, House Republicans backed a bill that costs $218 billion over 10 years and does not include any provisions to offset its huge cost.  The following is Rep. Hoyer’s statement as prepared for delivery:

“Mr. Speaker, as much as my friends on the Republican side want to create the impression that they are the only one’s that support tax cuts, let’s make it clear again this week: Democrats support extending and increasing the 10 percent tax bracket.

“But the truth is, the majority has no plan for this legislation to become law.  It has not been included it in its budget proposal.  In fact, the last I heard about budget negotiations, the Republicans only plan to extend this part of the tax code for another year.  This tax bill, the third of the four that my friends on the other side have told us they will put on the floor, without a budget, without a spending plan for the country, is another wasted opportunity for a simpler tax code. 

“Many of you have supported a flat tax.   Why aren’t you making the 10 percent rate apply to even more people?  Is it cost?  Cost doesn’t seem to worry you.  This bill adds more that $218 billion to the debt.  And together with the tax bills we’ve considered the past couple of weeks, the majority will have added $450 billion in deficit and debt.

“The majority seems perfectly content to pass its bills along to future generations, which in my view is not only irresponsible but immoral.  A year and a half ago, the president stood in this chamber and declared that he would not pass along the problems of one generation to another.  Yet, that is precisely what we are doing.

“America, don’t read his lips; watch your back – because this debt that the Republican party is heaping upon the country will come back to haunt us.   Fulfilling our responsibility means not only cutting taxes but making sure that such tax cuts are paid for.

“In sharp contrast to this Republican bill, the Democratic substitute is paid for.  I urge my colleagues to support the Democratic substitute.”