Skip to comments.Senate tax bill lures Democrats with sweeteners
Posted on 12/10/2010 8:24:13 AM PST by Qbert
The Senate released its bill Thursday to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, but the bill also renews a host of more minor tax provisions aimed at winning over recalcitrant Democrats in the House and Senate.
The bill, which faces its first key test vote Monday in the Senate, mirrors the deal that President Barack Obama struck earlier this week with Republicans. It extends the tax cuts for all Americans regardless of income, renews jobless benefits for one year and reinstates the estate tax at a level pushed by Republicans.
But in the face of loud resistance from Democrats, congressional leaders and the White House agreed to add some sweeteners, including the continuation of a federal tax break for mass transit users, an ethanol tax credit and a grant program for renewable energy developers.
The bill, which is estimated to cost about $850 billion over 10 years, also renews tax breaks for everything from coal plants, energy-efficient homes, hybrid cars and mine safety equipment to child care, college and adoption expenses.
The additions could provide some cover for members of the House Democratic Caucus which voted earlier Thursday to oppose the bill to jump on board with the bill and give the White House the votes it needs to pass the measure.
In the Senate, the energy measures were aimed at winning over Democrats such as Maria Cantwell of Washington, Barbara Boxer of California, Mark Begich of Alaska and Dianne Feinstein of California. They were among 17 senators who signed a letter Thursday seeking inclusion of the grant program for renewable energy developers.
Democrats also wanted an extension of a clean energy manufacturing tax credit, but the renewable energy grant program was more acceptable to Republicans.
The ethanol credit could attract support from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and it already won praise Thursday night from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who put out press release touting its inclusion. The ethanol credit, which was set at 45 cents per gallon, was higher than many expected.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), in a statement Thursday, endorsed the plan for the first time.
This bill is not perfect, but it provides the economic boost middle-class families and small business in Nevada and across America need, Reid said. The time for Republican political games is over. We must pass this measure before Congress adjourns.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said the inclusion of a Treasury Department grant program for renewable energy developers would be well-received in his caucus. Eighty-one House Democrats sent a letter to their leaders asking for a two-year extension of the program, implying that they would vote against the deal unless it was renewed.
That is the most important addition, Van Hollen said. A lot of our members wanted it. It was excluded from the original bargain. The fact that it was added is a good thing.
It remains unclear, however, whether the additions will be enough to soothe Democratic anger over the substance of the bill, as well as the way in which Obama negotiated the package directly with Republicans.
It is, in my view, a bad deal, and I think we can do a lot better, said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on the Senate floor Thursday night after the bill was released.
He promised to return to the floor Friday with other senators who oppose the deal.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also criticized the bill Thursday, saying it would add almost $1 trillion to the federal debt.
David Rogers, Darren Goode and Jonathan Allen contributed to this report.
Businesss (corruption) as usual among the Elitists in DC. Apparently, November 2nd wasn’t loud enough. 2012 must be a bigger and louder message.
David Freddoso writes:
“Remember all of those special interest tax breaks in the 2008 TARP bill?
- Film and Television Productions (Sec. 502)
- Wooden Arrows designed for use by children (Sec. 503)
- Virgin Island and Puerto Rican Rum (Section 308)
- American Samoa (Sec. 309)
- Mine Rescue Teams (Sec. 310)
- Mine Safety Equipment (Sec. 311)
- Domestic Production Activities in Puerto Rico (Sec. 312)
- Indian Tribes (Sec. 314, 315)
- Railroads (Sec. 316)
- Auto Racing Tracks (317)
- District of Columbia (Sec. 322)
- Wool Research (Sec. 325)
Many of them are back. Although I’m not sure yet whether the “research credit” is for “wool research.”
-Indian employment tax credit.
-New markets tax credit.
-Railroad track maintenance credit.
-Mine rescue team training credit.
-7-year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes.
-Accelerated depreciation for business property on an Indian reservation.
-Election to expense mine safety equipment.
-Special expensing rules for certain film and television productions.
-Expensing of environmental remediation costs.
-Deduction allowable with respect to income attributable to domestic production activities in Puerto Rico.
-Tax incentives for investment in the District of Columbia.
-Temporary increase in limit on cover over of rum excise taxes to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
-American Samoa economic development credit.”
Just more bribes. These people should be in jail.
Artificial sweeteners loaded with carcinogens.
“Businesss (corruption) as usual among the Elitists in DC. Apparently, November 2nd wasnt loud enough. 2012 must be a bigger and louder message.”
Questionable GOP appointees to key committee positions, giving up on important principles...and we’re only a little over a month after the election. Why are they trying to compromise when Obama never compromised his first two years?
I want the real CONSERVATIVES to rear up now...create gridlock until January.Defeat Amnesty bill FORVER & EVER & EVER......
The article doesn’t list how long the extensions are for the democrat’s pork. My guess would be the pork would be extended for 5 years (or longer) while the tax cuts are only extended for 2 years. If they are smart, the Republicans should reject the entire bill because of the added pork.
“The article doesnt list how long the extensions are for the democrats pork. My guess would be the pork would be extended for 5 years (or longer) while the tax cuts are only extended for 2 years. If they are smart, the Republicans should reject the entire bill because of the added pork.”
Don’t know the answer- but if that’s the case, the Repubs are getting played for even bigger fools than thought.
Even more urgent: Kill ObamieCommieCare.
Ah, Good ol’ earmatks are back.
Didn’t know they won the election, so why are we spending more pork?
earmatks = earmarks, of course
Continuing the Ethenol and energy boondoggles?
Let’s count the earmarks, shall we?
1. tax break for mass transit users
2. an ethanol tax credit
3. grant program for renewable energy developers
4. tax break for coal plants,
5. tax break for “energy-efficient homes”
6. tax break for hybrid cars
7. tax break for mine safety equipment
8. tax break for child care
9. tax break for college
10.tax break for adoption expenses
Eveybody’s a winner!
Continuing the lower tax rates only temporarily is hard enough to swallow. Why in the world would we want to offer them any “sweeteners”? Just let them vote it down as it was negotiated between the WH and the GOP and let them look like idiots when their forced to accept a worse deal (in their eyes) come Jan. We have to play hardball with these clowns.
“Continuing the lower tax rates only temporarily is hard enough to swallow. Why in the world would we want to offer them any sweeteners? Just let them vote it down as it was negotiated between the WH and the GOP and let them look like idiots when their forced to accept a worse deal (in their eyes) come Jan. We have to play hardball with these clowns.”
And if the Dems reject, start over at the new year from a position of strength. The only reason the Repubs (the non-Tea Party Repubs, that is) won in Congress was because they said “No” to garbage- not because of any unique talent that they had. We are at the edge of the cliff: saying “Yes” now to this could very well doom the party.