Scott Statement on Permanent Tax Extenders Bill

December 17, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on his No vote on the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (Roll Call No. 703):

“This tax extenders bill permanently extends enhancements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), which will help millions of working families stay out of poverty, help them offset the cost of childcare, and help them send their children to college.  While I strongly support these and some of the business provisions, I voted against the bill because it is not paid for at this time but ultimately its cost of approximately $622 billion over the next decade will, of course, have to be paid for.

“Unfortunately, many of the people that will benefit from the provisions in the bill will be the first ones hurt when Congress pays for it.  We witnessed this scenario soon after we passed the fiscal cliff deal in January 2013, which permanently extended most of the Bush-era tax cuts at a cost of $3.9 trillion.  Within weeks of that vote, the House voted to increase student loan interest rates and to cut spending to the supplemental nutrition assistance program, seniors programs, education and many other vital functions of government.  Congress even contemplated proposals to cut Social Security and increase the retirement age for Medicare.  At the same time, we were unable to rationally deal with sequestration, which further cut spending to programs that help working families and continues to negatively disrupt the federal budget process.”

“How we address the budget and the deficit is a matter of priorities.  Congress must consider the cost of tax cuts in the context of other budget decisions and priorities.  For example, proposals to offer two years of free community college or tuition free and debt free college, which range in cost from $60 billion to $750 billion, have been summarily dismissed as being too expensive.  Yet it one fell swoop, we pass $622 billion in tax cuts.”

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