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Public Statements

Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS -- (Senate - March 15, 2007)

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By Mr. INHOFE (for himself and Mr. Coburn):

S. 891. A bill to protect children and their parents from being coerced into administering a controlled substance in order to attend school, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I rise today, along with my colleague, TOM COBURN, to proudly reintroduce the Child Medication Safety Act, a bill to protect children and their parents from being coerced into administering a controlled substance or psychotropic drug in order to attend a school.

Parents today face many challenges when raising their children, one of which is ensuring that their children receive the best education possible. My views on education come from a somewhat unique perspective in that my wife, Kay, was a teacher at Edison High School in Tulsa for many years and now both of our daughters are teachers. I can assure you that I am one of the strongest supporters of quality education. However, it has come to my attention that schools have been acting as physicians or psychologists by strongly suggesting that children with behavioral problems be put immediately on some form of psychotropic drugs. Schools and teachers are not equipped to make this diagnosis and should not make it mandatory for the student to continue attending the school. This is clearly beyond their area of expertise. Therefore, I am introducing this legislation to ensure that parents are not required by school personnel to medicate their children.

The Child Medication Safety Act requires, as a condition of receiving funds from the Department of Education, that States develop and implement polices and procedures prohibiting school personnel from requiring a child to obtain a prescription as a condition of attending the school. It should be noted that this bill does not prevent teachers or other school personnel from sharing with parents or guardians classroom-based observations regarding a student's academic performance or regarding the need for evaluation for special education. Additionally, this bill calls for a study by the Comptroller General of the United States reviewing: (1) the variation among States in the definition of psychotropic medication as used in public education, (2) the prescription rates of medication used in public schools to treat children with attention deficit disorder and other such disorders, 3) which medications listed under the Controlled Substances Act are being prescribed to such children, and 4) which medications not listed under the Controlled Substances Act are being used to treat these children and their properties and effects. This GAO report is due no later than one year after the enactment of this Act.

I believe this is an extremely important bill that protects the rights of our children against improper intrusion regarding health issues by those not qualified. If a parent or guardian believes their child is in need of medication, then they have the right to make that decision and consult with a licensed medical practitioner who is qualified to prescribe an appropriate drug. Please join us in support of this legislation that protects the freedoms of our children.

By Mr. INHOFE:

S. 892. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the indexing of certain assets for purposes of determining gain or loss; to the Committee on Finance.

Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce the Capital Gains Inflation Relief Act of 2007. The taxation of inflation is one of the most unjust practices of the tax code. This simple improvement will not only enhance the basic fairness and efficiency of the tax code, but will also immediately increase the net return on capital investment.

Under current law, a taxable capital gain occurs whenever a capital asset is sold at a price higher than the original purchase price. However, the timing of capital gains taxation sets it apart from other types of income. While wages are generally taxed on a yearly basis, the taxation on capital assets occurs at the time the capital asset holder chooses to sell his asset and realize
his gains. The gains on capital assets accrue over the course of the asset's life, which is usually many years. This is generally favorable to the capital asset holder, because he can defer taxation on his gains to a future year. This tax deferral is often cited as the primary reason for holding assets long term.

However, the value of tax deferral is often times overstated because current tax policy taxes the capital asset holder not only on real gains, but also on gains due to inflation. This creates a situation that is patently unfair to the American taxpayer. For example, an American who purchased a share of stock for $10 in 1950 and sold it for twice that amount today would be subject to capital gains taxes on the nominal gain of $10, though the transaction was a clear loss when one accounts for inflation. Why should an American taxpayer, who invested in a capital asset in his youth, be forced to pay capital gains taxes, on what can only be viewed as a loss, in his later years? In spite of all our efforts to curb inflation, it will remain a fact of life. This does not mean we should tax hard-working Americans with long-term goals on gains that are due to inflation, gains that they will never actually realize.

Without an inflation index, the tax code incentivizes short-term speculation and discourages long-term capital investment. The current turmoil in the subprime lending market is an example that demonstrates the perils of emphasizing short-term speculation over long-term capital investment. Though inflation has remained relatively modest recently, there is no guarantee of future stability. Inflation indexing would instantly increase the net return on capital investment and consequently encourage more of it. Inflation indexing would also restore core principles of sound tax policy such as ``horizontal equity,' wherein two taxpayers in identical situations are treated identically by the tax system. Indexing capital gains would improve the basic fairness of the tax code with only a minor increase in administrative costs and a single step of simple multiplication for taxpayer compliance.

The need for indexing is clear. It would help average Americans and improve tax policy by enhancing both the basic fairness and the pro-growth incentive of the tax code. The merits of the capital gains tax are themselves debatable, but if we are to tax capital gains let us make sure they are taxed fairly. Please join with me in supporting this legislation to free the American taxpayer from the unfairness of the current tax policy.

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By Mr. INHOFE:

S. 905. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to eliminate the taxable income limit on percentage depletion for oil and natural gas produced from marginal properties; to the Committee on Finance.

Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, the independent producers of oil and gas are the backbone of our domestic supply of energy. They have played and continue to play a critical role in meeting our domestic needs, especially as the big oil companies' focus mainly offshore. In fact, independents develop 90 percent of our Nation's wells. According to the Department of Energy, independent producers supply 68 percent of American oil production and 82 percent of overall American natural gas.

Therefore, I rise today to introduce legislation that eliminates the taxable income limit on percentage depletion for oil and natural gas produced from marginal wells; wells producing 15 barrels of day and less than 90 thousand cubic feet of natural gas.

Under current law, the percentage depletion method is limited to only independent producers and royalty owners. It is a form of cost recovery for capital initially invested toward production of oil and gas wells. Generally, the percentage depletion rate is 15 percent of the taxpayer's gross income from an oil and gas producing property and is limited to a daily average of 1,000 barrels of oil or 6,000 thousand cubic feet of natural gas. However, under the net income limitation, percentage depletion is limited to 100 percent of the net income from an individual property. In the case of marginal wells, where total deductions often do exceed this net-income, this limitation discourages producers from investing in the continued production from marginal wells.

As a result Congress has suspended the net-income limitation for 1998 through 2005; and again for 2006 and 2007, with the passage of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, H.R. 6111.

My bill would simply clarify the policy by doing away with the taxable net income limitation altogether.

In my own State of Oklahoma, it is the small independents, basically mom-and-pop operations, producing the majority of oil and natural gas, with 85 percent of Oklahoma's oil coming from marginal wells.

Because marginal wells supply such a significant amount of our oil and gas, it is vital we keep them in operation. According to the Energy Department, between 1994 and 2003, we lost 110 million barrels of crude oil due to plugged marginal wells. Thus, when we lose marginal wells, we become more dependent upon foreign sources of energy, at a time when virtually all agree that U.S. policies should encourage reliance upon domestic sources. Furthermore, we lose domestic jobs to foreign nations.

My bill would allow independents the necessary capital to continue to produce from these existing marginal wells--which is critical to the Nation's overall energy security. I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the RECORD.

There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

S. 905

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