WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, the House passed H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act, as amended by the Senate. Following the passage of the bill, U.S. Congressman Bill Flores (R-Texas) issued the following statement regarding the bill.
“The Senate and House passed fiscal cliff deal includes components such as: extending 2012 income tax rates for families with incomes below $450,000 and individuals below $400,000; permanently setting the tax on capital gains and dividends to 20 percent for those with income above the $450,000/$400,000 threshold while keeping a 15 percent rate for others; permanently setting the estate tax at 40 percent with a $5 million exemption; delaying the Sequester for two months; re-imposing a pay freeze on Members of Congress; permanently patching the Alternative Minimum Tax to avoid raising taxes on millions of American families; allowing the temporary payroll tax reductions to expire; extending a package of temporary business tax breaks; delaying the scheduled Sustainable Growth Rate cuts to doctors under Medicare for a year, commonly known as the ‘Doc Fix’; extending temporary federal unemployment benefits for another year; and providing for a nine month extension of the 2008 farm bill, which expired in 2012.
“The bill that the Senate hastily put together and passed does little to provide economic growth and does virtually nothing to implement much-needed spending reforms. The deal raises approximately $620 billion in new revenue, but only has $15 billion in spending cuts, i.e. for every $1 in spending cuts there will be $41 in new taxes. The legislation also raises taxes on job creators, which will hinder job creation. I do not feel that this bill went far enough to curb the culture of wasteful spending and to protect taxes rates for job creators. For these reasons I voted in opposition of the bill’s passage.
“While I am pleased that many of the temporary income tax provisions passed in 2001 and 2003 were permanently extended, I still believe that we need to pass comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform to grow American jobs and our economy. Moreover, Washington has a spending problem and our economy will continue to suffer until we can have disciplined federal spending and entitlement reform. Since 2007, federal spending has increased nearly 25 percent. While the passage of the deal will partially address the federal government’s fiscal cliff, Congress still needs to address out of control spending. With the 113th Congress convening on Thursday, federal spending cuts and pro-growth tax reforms will continue to top priorities as we aim to lead our nation on a path to fiscal stability and economic growth.”
Congressman Bill Flores represents the 17th District of Texas and is an entrepreneur, former energy executive, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and member of the House Budget, Natural Resources and Veterans’ Affairs Committees.