It’s no secret that Republicans are pressing for a full extension of President Bush’s 2001 tax cuts — including income tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. But they are now also including a push for a different set of Bush tax cuts — passed in 2003 — on capital gains and dividends.
The office of Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) is seeking signatures on a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi — obtained by TPM — asking for a full extension of both sets of tax cuts.
“We are writing to request the House consider legislation providing an up-or-down vote to extend the expiring provisions in The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (P.L.#107-16) and The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (P.L.#108-27),” the letter reads.The 2003 cuts are also set to expire at the end of the year. Kingston and his supporters want a vote on the entire basket before the House adjourns in October for election season. “We request an up-or-down vote on the expiring tax provisions before Congress recesses for the October District Work Period,” the draft reads. “A balanced and open debate would give Members an opportunity to put their best ideas forward and develop a bipartisan solution for creating jobs.”
Commenting on the letter, Kingston told TPM in an interview that the point isn’t so much to win the entire policy fight as it is to show the demand for an open debate on the tax cuts, followed by an up-or-down vote on the consensus package.
“Whether it’s the ’01 or the ’03, it wouldn’t matter to me so long as we could get a good open debate,” Kingston said.
It’s no surprise that Republicans would want to see all of President Bush’s tax cuts extended. In fact they’ve been fairly explicit about it. But the debate on Capitol Hill has been largely centered on the 2001 cuts, and this latest move represents a broadening of the GOP argument for high-income tax cuts.
Kingston says would likely oppose Pelosi if she used her power as Speaker to influence the outcome — by, for instance, holding separate votes on middle-income and higher-income tax cuts.
“it would depend on what the tax cuts are,” Kingston said. “If this was about class politics, and rewarding one group over another, I’m going to vote no.”
“Again it’s trying to control the process, trying to be outcome focused rather than solution-oriented,” Kingston lamented. “I, as a Republican, believe Democrats have a lot of good ideas. I believe a lot of Democrats think Republicans have good ideas…. Leadership in both parties squash both ideas.”
“There are a lot of Democrats right now who want to have a vote on the Bush tax cuts in their full entirety.”
Kingston’s letter currently has 22 signatories, but hopes to land as many as 100.
Funny enough, Kingston may have Democratic support as well. As TPM first reported last week, Rep. John Adler (D-NJ) is also seeking an extension of many of the 2003 Bush tax cuts.
You can read the entire draft below.
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Speaker Pelosi:
We are writing to request the House consider legislation providing an up-or-down vote to extend the expiring provisions in The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (P.L.#107-16) and The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (P.L.#108-27).
If Congress fails to act before the end of the year, American families and small businesses will incur a $3.8 trillion tax increase- over $200 billion of which comes next year. This increase will hit millions of small businesses and threatens to take more money out of the private sector. The pending tax increase will impact every American who pays taxes. In addition to eliminating the lowest tax bracket, the tax increases include reinstating the marriage penalty, cutting the child tax credit and resurrecting the Estate Tax.
We request an up-or-down vote on the expiring tax provisions before Congress recesses for the October District Work Period. A balanced and open debate would give Members an opportunity to put their best ideas forward and develop a bipartisan solution for creating jobs. Thank you for your consideration.