Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement after he voted against bringing a bill before the Senate that would permanently raise taxes to pay for temporary tax relief. He also called for restoration of the state and local sales tax deduction.
"We cannot allow the Senate to simply end debate on legislation to address high gas prices without passing a bill,” Alexander said. “The Senate should take up the Gas Price Reduction Act and once it has completed its work on high energy costs, it should turn its attention to providing tax relief for American families whose budgets are struggling. With gas prices and taxes on the rise, we can make a real difference to help working families by passing a serious energy bill, making the state and local sales tax deduction permanent, and expanding the $1,000 per-child refundable tax credit to more families with low incomes.”
Last month, Alexander joined in introducing the Gas Price Reduction Act (S. 3202). Specifically, the bill would:
• “Find More” – increasing American production by one-third through offshore exploration and western states oil shale (3 million new barrels a day).
• “Use Less” – reducing imported oil by one-third by making it easier for millions of Americans to drive plug-in electric cars and trucks (4 million barrels of oil savings a day). The bill also encourages the federal government to increase its purchases of electric vehicles.
• Provide for the addition of 100 employees at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to beef up oversight of oil speculators.
Alexander is also a cosponsor of bills introduced by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) to provide a permanent deduction for state and local sales taxes.
The motion to proceed to H.R 6049, the tax extenders bill, received 53 votes. Under Senate rules, 60 votes were required. H.R. 6049 also fell short of 60 votes twice in June.