January 24,2008

Baucus Intends To Move Separate Stimulus Bill In Senate Finance Committee Next Week

Finance Chairman wants fair rebate for all taxpayers, cites unemployment insurance, food stamps as priority ideas

Washington, DC – At a press conference this morning, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said that the Committee will mark up its own economic stimulus package, independent of House legislation, next week. Baucus praised the focus of a reported agreement between House leaders and the President on tax rebates for working Americans, but said he wants to ensure that all who pay Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes – as well as those who pay income taxes – receive a fair rebate. Baucus also said the Finance bill could include quick stimulus measures such as increases to unemployment insurance and food stamps.

He released the following statement this afternoon:

“The Finance Committee will mark up its own stimulus bill next week, a different bill than the House will reportedly consider. The reported agreement between House leaders and the Administration seems to have some very good elements, particularly tax rebate for low-income wage earners. For my part, I want to make sure that every American who looks at his or her paycheck and sees Medicare taxes taken out, Social Security taxes taken out, gets the same rebate as every other taxpaying American.

I believe, and I think many Senators agree, that we can do even more to stimulate America’s economy. Extending unemployment insurance can get money out fast to people who need it and will spend it. Increasing food stamps could do the same. Additional business incentives may more directly help hurting businesses that need quick cash to spend.

I believe the Committee can complete its work by the time the House sends a bill to the Senate. I intend for the Committee to work fast, and to work together. I only announced this markup after speaking with Ranking Member Grassley. He and I will continue the tradition of Finance Committee bipartisanship, and we will work with the Treasury Secretary, with House leaders, and with the White House to agree on any new provisions.

Americans want Congress to pass economic stimulus fast, but they also want us to get it right. I am confident that Finance Committee action can help Congress consider an agreement than can quickly pass both chambers and be signed by the President. The Finance Committee will bring forward a package that is timely, targeted, and temporary, with smart solutions to help the American economy and all our citizens.”