July 23,2003

Baucus Urges Passage of Child Tax Credit

Senator Emphasizes High Marginal Tax Rates Low-Income Americans Face, Need for Tax Relief

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senator Max Baucus today spoke on the Senate floor to insist that the child tax credit be expanded to low-income Americans before the House adjourns for summer recess in two days.

In June, the Senate passed a $3.5 Billion child tax credit bill that ensures that America's working families who make between $10,000 and $27,000 a year are eligible for the child tax credit. It will also allow families of military personnel to receive the child tax credit. These provisions were left out of the Jobs and Growth tax bill passed earlier this year.

The child tax credit bill passed by the House earlier this summer costs over $80 billion and includes numerous tax breaks for middle and upper-income Americans. The House and Senate child tax credit conference committee has failed to meet and the House is scheduled to adjourn for the summer on July 25, 2003.

"It is an outrage that the House would not agree to pass the fiscally responsible, Senate bill that helps low-income Americans and is completely offset," Baucus said. "It has been 48 days since the Senate passed the Lincoln-Snowe bill to provide the child tax credit to the families of 12 million children. We have two days left to get this done and I urge the conferees to burn the midnight oil to ensure that American families are taken care of before the House adjourns."

Today on the Senate floor, Baucus cited the high marginal tax rates that low-income Americans pay and insisted on passage of the child tax credit, which will work to reduce these rates.

"Under current law, taxpayers in the lower income brackets face marginal rates as high as 46 percent," Baucus said. "In other words, for every additional dollar they earn, they only keep an additional 54 cents… a taxpayer making $27,000 faces a higher marginal rate than a taxpayer making $1 million. In addition, a family making $27,000 has a marginal rate that is far higher than the corporate rate of 35 percent.

"If marginal rate cuts are good enough for the wealthy today, aren’t they good enough for the working poor? The answer from the Senate is a resounding– YES. The Lincoln-Snowe bill – to reduce marginal rates for the working poor immediately – passed the Senate almost unanimously," Baucus continued.

The first round of child tax credit checks are scheduled to be mailed out to middle and upper- income Americans on July 25, 2003. This is also the day the House is scheduled to adjourn, possibly without extending the child tax credit to low-income Americans.

"We have 2 working days left," Baucus said. "Two days to convene this conference, work out our differences, and send this bill to the President. Two days to ensure that low-income working families receive the same tax relief promised to the rest of America’s families. And two days left to ensure to fix this problem- that even President Bush agrees is an “egregious problem” in the tax code."