July 21,2004

Statement of U.S. Senator Max Baucus: Senator Expresses Disappointment that Short-term Tax Extension Not Agreed to by Administration

“Earlier this week, Senators Snowe, Lincoln, Chafee, McCain, Breaux, and I proposed a one year package of tax relief for America’s working families that was completely offset and wouldn’t have added one cent to the nation’s debt. The package would have extended the child tax credit, the 10 percent bracket, and marriage penalty relief. In addition, our package would have provided a refundable child tax credit to low-income families and would have sent tax relief to our brave men and women in combat.

“After this initial proposal did not achieve a consensus, we then worked together within Congress to hammer out an agreement on a two year package that would still provide tax relief to the folks who need it. It’s important that we don’t let these important middle-class tax provisions expire, which will place a larger burden on the shoulders of our families who are already struggling to make ends meet. But we also can’t burden our families with a five year tax cut that we can’t afford. There’s no harm in extending tax cuts on a yearly or bi-yearly basis once we know the economic picture, but there is harm in recklessly extending tax cuts into an uncertain economic future.

“I applaud the hard work and dedication of my Senate colleagues and would like to especially highlight the efforts of Chairman Grassley, Majority Leader Frist and Democratic Leader Daschle. I’m disappointed that the Administration wouldn’t join us at the table and work toward an agreement that would work for all.“I was elected to Congress to do the bidding of Montana’s citizens and I take that responsibility very seriously. 
It wouldn’t have been right to agree to a five year extension that would have needlessly increased the nation’s debt. I will continue to work together toward a short-term extension - we must do what’s right for our economy and working families, while keeping fiscal responsibility on the front burner.”