PERMANENTLY EXTENDING INCREASED STANDARD DEDUCTION, AND 15-PERCENT INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX RATE BRACKET EXPANSION, FOR MARRIED TAXPAYERS FILING JOINT RETURNS -- (House of Representatives - April 28, 2004)
Mr. WELLER. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 607, I call up the bill (H.R. 4181) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permanently extend the increased standard deduction, and the 15-percent individual income tax rate bracket expansion, for married taxpayers filing joint returns, and ask for its immediate consideration in the House.
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Mr. WELLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 ½ minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Kingston), a member of the House Republican leadership.
Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Illinois for yielding me time.
Mr. Speaker, I wanted to speak in general of the marriage tax penalty relief bill which the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Weller) has worked so hard for so many years to pass in Congress.
The amendment offered here by the gentleman from New York (Mr. Rangel) might have some merits, but I also am aware there are so many people who are opposed to this legislation on the other side of the aisle, that sometimes you wonder if these amendments are not being offered in the clever way to derail the legislation itself. It is probably not the case, with the sponsor and many of the people who are supporting it.
I am absolutely not yielding to my friend, but let me say, as I just said, it is probably not the case. That is what I just said. I said that often many times these amendments are offered in an attempt to derail the legislation. However, when the record is written, I will have a chance to show my friend from New York, whom I respect immensely, that I said that is probably not the intent there. And let me say this to my friend from New York, that I also have said that the gentleman has consistently worked for legislation like this. So it certainly is very, I guess, expected that the gentleman would use this opportunity. I would use it too, if I were the gentleman in his position.
Having said that, let me say again, I will be happy to yield to the gentleman, and I do know it is not his intent to derail something.
Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. KINGSTON. I would be happy to yield to my friend, the gentleman from New York.
Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding, because I misunderstood him. If his final argument is that my intent is just as honest as that of the underlying sponsor of this legislation, then I apologize to the gentleman for misunderstanding what he was saying.
Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, let me say this: I think the gentleman has been a great champion of tax relief in many respects, and certainly I have a lot of admiration for him.
My support today is for the marriage tax penalty relief. But I would love to see us pass this legislation in its entirety one time and have our colleagues in the other body finish the work that this House so many times has passed and that we cannot get through.
So, Mr. Speaker, I wanted to go on record saying I do support the efforts of the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Weller) on marriage tax penalty. I think it is so very important for middle-class America, and I support it today.