U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today that he voted in favor of a bipartisan economic rescue plan to stabilize credit markets and ensure that Tennesseans have access to loans and are able to cash their paychecks. He said the legislation also gives nearly 600,000 Tennesseans an average of $400 in tax relief.
“The Senate’s action will allow the Treasury Secretary to begin cleaning up the wreck on the economic highway caused by bad mortgage loans,” Alexander said. “This should get economic traffic moving again and restore confidence so that Americans can get auto, student, mortgage, business, and farm credit loans at reasonable prices. Since the Secretary will be buying troubled mortgage assets and then selling them, the cost to taxpayers should be limited, and any profits will go to reduce the federal debt.”
Alexander also noted that the bill contains tax relief for Tennesseans: “Of special importance to our state, the legislation includes a two-year deduction of state and local sales taxes from federal income. The deduction will mean an average of $400 in tax relief for nearly 600,000 Tennesseans each year. While this bill extends the deduction for two years, we still need a permanent fix, and I will continue pushing for legislation to do just that. I hope the House of Representatives acts quickly to send this legislation to the President.”
Other provisions included the bill were measures from the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008 (H.R. 6049), which passed the Senate by a vote of 93-2 on September 23rd, that would:
• Extend the research and development tax credit for 2 years to encourage job creation.
• Expand eligibility for the Child Tax Credit ($1,000 per child under 17) to more families.
• Encourage the development of alternative energy:
o Extends the Solar Tax Credit for 8 years.
o Provides a $2,500 to $15,000 tax credit for plug-in cars and trucks.
o Encourages the development of cellulosic ethanol, made from “crops we don’t eat.”
o Encourages energy-efficient appliances and “green buildings.”
• Provide a one-year fix to prevent over 20 million middle-income Americans from having their federal income taxes increased by the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
H.R. 1424 passed the Senate by a vote of 74 to 25 .