Alexander: “Stopping Tax Hike Is the Single Best Thing Congress Can Do Right Now to Create Private-Sector Jobs”

Supports Amendments to Make Tax Rates Permanent and Pay for Unemployment Benefits

Posted on December 15, 2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today of his vote in favor of the bipartisan tax agreement to keep taxes from rising on January 1, 2011, that “stopping a tax hike on nearly every American is the single best thing Congress can do right now to make it easier and cheaper to create private-sector jobs.

A tax increase on anybody when unemployment is 10 percent would make it harder to create jobs, and this legislation prevents the single largest tax increase in history, dollar-wise.” Alexander said the agreement “also helps to create jobs by allowing businesses to immediately deduct from their income all their purchases of equipment during 2011.”

During debate on the agreement, Alexander voted in favor of an amendment offered by Senator Coburn (R-Okla.) that would have offset the cost of extending unemployment insurance by cutting wasteful and duplicative spending from elsewhere in the federal budget by $155 billion over five years. He also voted in favor of an amendment offered by Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) that would have made extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax rates permanent. Under Senate rules, both amendments required 67 votes to pass, but failed to reach that threshold.

Alexander also cosponsored an amendment introduced by Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) that would cap the federal government’s annual spending, calling this a priority “when the federal government is borrowing 42 cents of every dollar it is spending.” That amendment was not voted on.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 81-19 and must now be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives.

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