All but Teague concerned about Obama-GOP tax deal
Four members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation are expressing serious concerns about President Barack Obama’s tax compromise with Republicans, primarily because it includes an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
The fifth – U.S. Rep. Harry Teague, D-N.M. – supports extending the tax cuts for all Americans and expressed no concerns about Obama’s proposal.
“If we pass this unfunded tax cut for millionaires and billionaires, we’ll be forced to borrow another $900 billion, most of it from China, that will be redistributed to America’s wealthy. We simply can’t afford that,” Heinrich said in a statement released by his office.
“Although I haven’t seen all the details of this new proposal, it appears to be a giveaway for the wealthiest Americans,” Udall said. “It would give huge tax breaks to the wealthy while driving up the unsustainable deficit and passing on the bill to our children and grandchildren. At this point I’m not sure I could support it.”
Many on the left are angered by Obama’s compromise with Republicans. But others argue that there are a number of Democrat-sought provisions in the proposal, in addition to those sought by Republicans that would minimize the estate tax and extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, including the wealthy.
As CNN reported, “other provisions in the $800 billion deal, including the payroll tax holiday and child tax credit, will greatly assist ordinary Americans. And those who are unemployed will benefit from an extension to file for federal jobless benefits through 2011.”
“Overall, it’s very much worth doing,” Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, was quoted by CNN as saying. “Paychecks will go up, and that’s very important for the economy.”
The president warned that defeat of the compromise could trigger a new recession.
Concern about ‘tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires’
But the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans remains a stumbling block for many. That includes Bingaman, who voted against the original Bush tax cuts. On Saturday, he voted for a proposal to extend the tax cuts on the first $1 million of income, though he has said he prefers to extend the cuts only on the first $250,000.
“I have serious concerns about some parts of the proposal that was announced,” Bingaman said of Obama’s deal with the GOP. “But some parts are still being negotiated, and I will wait to see what is in the final package before deciding whether to support it.”
Luján said he “strongly” supports tax cuts for middle-income and low-income families and small businesses.
“The president’ proposal includes many components I strongly support,” he said. “However, I remain concerned with tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires that would increase our deficit and hurt the middle class.”
“In its current form, I am not inclined to support it,” Luján said. “We must work towards a solution that keeps our focus on helping small businesses and middle class families.”
Udall said Washington must “extend the tax rates for middle class Americans and New Mexicans who are struggling to pay the bills and provide for their families.”
“I voted to do that last weekend, and will continue fighting for that extension in the Senate,” he said.
The “right thing to do,” Heinrich said, is “securing the future of the middle class and ignoring the temptation to pile on to the deficit.”
“Americans are looking for leadership that is serious about creating jobs and reducing the deficit – not tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans,” he said. “The way to stimulate job growth is to make sure the middle class can afford to stop putting off buying that new refrigerator or getting the family car fixed, not by writing Donald Trump a huge check and hoping the money trickles down.”
Teague alone among delegation
Politico reported late Wednesday that the president’s proposal was picking up “a new wave of Democratic support” that signaled that the proposal “would make it through Congress, as long as most Republicans lined up behind it as expected.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that he hopes to begin consideration of the bill as early as today, which Politico reported was “a sign that the measure will receive a filibuster-proof majority.”
And in the House, Politico reported, “high-decibel liberal complaints were countered by a silent minority of Blue Dogs, New Democrats and even a handful of veteran liberals who said outright that they would vote for the bill or hinted strongly in private that they were leaning in that direction.”
That would seem to include Teague, who has expressed support for extending the Bush tax cuts for all Americans in the past and reiterated that support on Wednesday.
“Constituents across southern New Mexico have shared with me their concerns about raising taxes at a time when the economy is still recovering – and I agree with them,” Teague said. “Extending these tax cuts is good for working families and for the small businesses that are creating jobs and putting New Mexicans back to work.”
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