Democrats should continue to highlight these failures and the disturbing Republican record, which includes: the highest budget deficit ever; the least number of days spent in session in 48 years; and failing to pass a budget for the first time in modern budget history when one party controls the Congress and the White House.
Congressman Chet Edwards pressured Republicans into offering language to this bill in the full committee mark-up that will relieve the Pentagon from a statutory spending limit on building and renovating under a military family housing program he helped to initiate in 1996. The language would lift the $850 million cap under the public-private housing program by $500 million starting Oct. 1. The Pentagon is expected to reach the spending ceiling in November.
Without this provision, thousands of military families will lose access to military housing.
There is a concern that Republican leaders will strip this provision from the bill in the Rules Committee. Democrats should help raise the profile on this issue and ensure that our military families have access to affordable quality housing.
Please find Congressman Edwards' press release regarding this issue attached.
Language in the House version also requires semi-annual reports on Iraq, including:
• An assessment of the progress on preventing attacks on United States personnel.
• The costs incurred for repair of Department of Defense equipment used in the operations and activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
• The foreign countries, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations that are contributing support for the ongoing military operations and reconstruction activities.
• For each unit of the National Guard of the United States and the other reserve components of the Armed Forces on active duty, the following information:
The unit; The projected date of return of the unit to its home station; The extent (by percentage) to which the forces deployed within the United States and outside the United States in support of a contingency operation are composed of reserve component forces.
In addition, the House is currently scheduled to consider the Republican tax cut extension bill as part of "tax simplification week."
This tax bill, H.R. 1308, which uses the stalled Child Tax Credit conference from last summer, is expected to extend for two years the previously-passed middle class tax cuts: marriage penalty relief, child tax credit, the 10 percent bracket, along with another year extension of the alternative minimum tax relief (AMT.) Our understanding is that these cuts will not be paid for.
Republicans have to extend these tax cuts now because last year, they made these middle-income provisions temporary in order to pay for their tax cuts for the wealthy. Democrats strongly support middle-income tax cuts, including extending the new 10 percent bracket, child tax credit, and marriage penalty relief, but believe they should be fully paid for.
Attached please find talking points from the Leader's Office on this important bill.