September 14,2006

Baucus Calls for Immediate Renewal of Important Tax Provisions

Majority objects to unanimous consent request to settle R&D credit, tuition deduction, other tax provisions that failed in earlier, more controversial bill

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, today requested unanimous consent for the immediate approval of vital tax provisions in need of renewal this year. The amendment offered by Baucus would have renewed and extended measures such as the research and development tax credit, the college tuition deduction, the state and local sales tax deduction, and the tax deduction available to American teachers who spend their own money on classroom supplies. Despite the fact that the amendment’s language precisely mirrored that of a bill supported by the majority side to renew the same tax provisions, an objection to the Baucus request was lodged by the Majority Leader. Prior to his request, Baucus spoke briefly in support of the tax measures.

“Some [of my colleagues] have openly referred to these credits as ‘hostages,’” said Baucus. “Some have said that sometimes you have to kill hostages to be taken seriously. It is time that we end these threats and get back to the business of legislating.

“Let me remind everyone how many times these popular tax cuts have been set aside. We first passed them as part of the tax reconciliation bill last November. They were set aside in order to accommodate provisions in that tax bill that were expiring in 2009.

“Then, we were promised they would be surely included in the pension conference – the next tax vehicle. But once again, they were pulled out at the last moment after weeks of negotiations and haggling.

“The package we are discussing is a compromise package. It passed the House. It does not include everything that I would want. But it is what we agreed to months ago. And it is what we should have enacted months ago.

“This package includes the R and D tax credit. It includes the deduction for school teachers who buy supplies for their students. It includes the tuition deduction. It includes the deduction of state and local taxes. And it includes other widely-supported tax cuts.

“If we do not enact these provisions, then millions of Americans will have their taxes increased. This Congress has been zealous in preventing tax increases several years into the future. We ought to prevent these tax increases that are happening today.

“I urge my Colleagues to pass a clean, retroactive extension of these popular credits for businesses, school teachers, and employers who hire welfare workers. Let us end the frustration today.”

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