Statement on passing AMT relief without adding to the national debt

i thank my friend from massachusetts, mr. neal. i want to say at the outset that i am pleased mr. mccrery is on the floor. there will be other times to say this. mr. mccrery is one of the TimeCode: 18:08:56.3 respected members of this house. i think he serves us well as ranking member of the ways and means. i know he would rather be chairman of the ways and means, we like him as ranking member. he's indicated he's not going to be with us in the next congress. that's regrettable because he's TimeCode: 18:09:12.0 one of the good members of this congress and i want to say that to my friend. now, let me talk about the question at hand. mr. speaker, we debate here in the house and -- but many americans have the opportunity TimeCode: 18:09:29.2 to see this debate. this debate is a relatively simple debate. it's not just about the alternative minimum tax or consequences of not putting a TimeCode: 18:09:43.4 so-called patch, nobody in america knows what that means, it simply means saying that the alternative minimum tax won't affect 25 or so million people in america. none of us on either side of the aisle want that to happen. the issue is not whether or not TimeCode: 18:09:57.9 any of us feel that ought to happen. it is do you pay for it? do you provide for the revenue fix that will be necessary if we cut that revenue? let me say to my friend from louisiana, he has said a number TimeCode: 18:10:14.1 of times on this floor that the president provided in his budget to pay for the a.m.t. -- or didn't count the revenue for this year. he didn't provide the money to pay for it. he simply didn't anticipate the revenue. TimeCode: 18:10:30.8 what he did not say, however, is the president did anticipate the revenue for the next nine years. furthermore, the president anticipated in 2006 that we would have the revenue generated by the a.m.t. in the year we are going to so called fix, so that TimeCode: 18:10:48.3 the administration sent us a budget counting on this revenue that we are about to say we won't receive. so i tell my friend from louisiana, it is somewhat misleading, i think, not intentionally i understand, to say the president didn't provide TimeCode: 18:11:02.6 the revenue in this budget, or didn't rely on the revenue for this budget. that's true. he relied on it last year. and the year before that. and the year before that. and the year before that. and the year before that. and in 2001, and he relied on it, i tell my friend -- TimeCode: 18:11:20.0 mr. mccrery: will the gentleman yield? mr. hoyer: as you recall in your 2003 tax cut, part of the revenue anticipated was this revenue that the gentleman says he does not want to collect and that the president's not relying on for 2007? he's accurate but in a very TimeCode: 18:11:36.1 narrow sense because the president's relied upon it every other year. i would be glad to yield. mr. mccrery: the gentleman likewise is accurate in his remarks. very cleverly so. but the fact is for the most -- mr. hoyer: is this a climent or TimeCode: 18:11:53.9 not? mr. mccrery: it is. but the fact is the most recent budget submitted by the president for this taxable year, 2007, does not assume the revenues from an increase in the a.m.t. mr. hoyer: reclaiming my time. the gentleman's absolutely TimeCode: 18:12:08.5 correct. that's my point. but in previous years the president has told us in his budget this revenue would be available. and he's relied on that to offset what would otherwise be larger deficits either as a result of tax cuts or of spending. he's relied on this money. so what we are saying on this TimeCode: 18:12:28.2 side of the aisle is let's pay for the revenue that the president anticipated. if we are not going to take it. none of us want to take the revenue that is generated by the alternative minimum tax in this TimeCode: 18:12:42.3 fiscal year. so, ladies and gentlemen, if we don't pay for it, what do we do? because the president relied upon it in previous budgets, and frankly the congress did as well, on both sides of the aisle, if that revenue does not come in, and we don't pay for TimeCode: 18:12:58.1 it, there is only one thing to do. borrow. and this administration has borrowed more money from foreigners than any administration in history all together from washington to clinton. TimeCode: 18:13:15.5 all together they didn't borrow as much money as this president has borrowed from foreign governments. and put our country at risk. we are saying let's stop that. and in 1990's, ladies and gentlemen of this house, we said let's stop that. TimeCode: 18:13:34.3 who's we? president bush, the democrat house, and the democrat senate said let's stop that. and we adopted pay-go. and in 1997 we had another a agreement and a democratic TimeCode: 18:13:49.2 president and a republican congress said, let's continue that policy because we believe it's a good policy. and just a few years ago the former chairman of the budget committee, jim nussle, who is now the director of the office of management and budget said, pay-go is a policy that has TimeCode: 18:14:06.8 worked and we ought to pursue it. but as my friend knows in 2001 we simply abandoned pay-go. why? because demonstrably it had worked. TimeCode: 18:14:20.6 for the previous four years we had for the first time in the lifetime of anybody in this house of representatives, had four budget years in a row that produced a surplus. four. why? because we had a pay-go in TimeCode: 18:14:37.2 place. why? because when we wanted to take actions we had to have the TimeCode: 18:14:42.0 consequences of our actions and tell the american public it was not a free lunch. we would have to pay for it. that's simply what this bill does. it pursues the policy of fiscal responsibility. TimeCode: 18:14:55.3 it abandons the policy of fiscal irresponsibility. and the pretense that there is a free lunch that we have been pursuing for the last seven years and incurred that $1.6 trillion, give or take, $100 TimeCode: 18:15:14.2 billion in the last seven years. . ladies and gentlemen, no one wants to have a tax increase for these 5 million people. it was never intended, but some TimeCode: 18:15:28.3 of my republican colleagues say, we didn't intend this, so we don't have to pay for it. that's like saying, i didn't intend to run the stop sign and have an accident and therefore, TimeCode: 18:15:43.1 i don't have to pay for the consequences. the president has relied on this money but we are saying we are not going to collect it. charlie rangel likes to quote russell long who said don't tax TimeCode: 18:16:00.1 me, don't tax the man behind the tree. unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen of the house, the policies that we pursue are not taxing me and not taxing thee, but taxing the children and the TimeCode: 18:16:15.6 grandchildren behind the tree. it takes courage to pay for things. the largest expansion in entitlement programs in the last 25 years was done with hardly TimeCode: 18:16:32.9 any democratic votes and all republican votes and it was paid for. we were told it was within the budget, it wasn't. wasn't paid for. our children and grandchildren will pay that bill. have the courage, the wisdom and the good common sense to adopt TimeCode: 18:16:49.8 this legislation and urge our colleagues in the other body to share that courage, to share that common sense, to morally step up to the plate and have this generation pay for what it TimeCode: 18:17:06.1 buys, pass this important bill and pay for it.