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Public Statements

FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. DeMINT. Thank you, Madam President. I think I can do it in that time.

It seems we have time to do almost anything, but what we need to do is address the economy and jobs in this country. Just about every economist, from all across the political spectrum, says one of the most important things we can do right now is not to raise taxes. Yet taxes are scheduled to go up in 5 months on almost every American, including the businesses that create the jobs.

Of the two amendments I will offer here today, one amendment will stop the increase in income tax rates, and the second will stop the tax increases on small businesses that file as individuals.

Clearly, it makes no sense in the middle of a recession to raise taxes on individuals. An individual in South Carolina making $40,000 a year will pay $400 more next year in taxes if we do not act. A married couple with a combined income of $80,000 will see their taxes go up nearly $2,200. A married couple earning $160,000 combined could pay $5,500 in additional taxes.

The same thing will happen to small businesses that create the jobs. We will be taking money out of their accounts and putting it in our accounts. At a time when they need to keep the money to grow our economy and to hire workers, we do not need the money to continue to waste it on what we have been doing.

Consider the stimulus bill. A couple of my colleagues this week came out with a report showing where a lot of this stimulus money went: $62 million for a Pennsylvania tunnel that Governor Rendell said was a tragic mistake; $193,000 for voter perception of the stimulus bill. I could go on and on. This is not money we need to spend right now.

What we need to do is assure businesses and individuals that the tax rate this year will be the same next year so they can make good decisions that will move our economy forward.

MOTIONS TO SUSPEND

Madam President, in accordance with rule V of the Standing Rules of the Senate, I move to suspend rule XXII for the purpose of proposing and considering the following motion to commit, with instructions, H.R. 1586: I move to commit H.R. 1586 to the Committee on Finance with instructions to report the same back to the Senate with changes to include a permanent extension of the 2010 individual income tax rates, and to include provisions which decrease spending as appropriate to offset such permanent extension.

And, Madam President, in accordance with rule V of the Standing Rules of the Senate, I move to suspend rule XXII for the purpose of proposing and considering the following motion to commit, with instructions, H.R. 1586: I move to commit H.R. 1586 to the Committee on Finance with instructions to report the same back to the Senate with changes to include a permanent extension of current individual income tax rates on small businesses and provisions which decreases spending as appropriate to offset such permanent extension.

With that, Madam President, I reserve the remainder of my time and yield the floor.

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Mr. DeMINT. Madam President, I think it is a sad day in the Senate when keeping current tax rates the same and stopping the largest tax increase in history is called a stunt.

Over the last few weeks, the Democrats have voted to raise taxes on dividends and capital gains, affecting many senior citizens, and raised the death tax to over half of what people leave to their families. Now, today, they want to raise the marginal income tax rates. If we left the tax rates the same, it would do more to help small businesses and jobs in America than any of the bailout or targeted programs my colleagues are talking about.

My Democratic colleagues have had 4 years to address the coming tax increase and have done nothing. It is very important, but it is sad that they will not address it. They will do every kind of government program that comes to mind, but they won't leave the money in the hands of the American people so we can grow our economy.

I encourage my colleagues but also the American people to look in on what is happening today.

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Mr. DeMINT. Madam President, we all know the economic engine in this country is small businesses. Most of our jobs come from small businesses. It makes no sense in the middle of a recession for us to take more money from small businesses and bring it here.

This amendment simply keeps current tax rates the same for those who file individually as part of their small businesses. It is a simple idea. I think we all agree on it. It is important that we do it before the break and let small businesses know they can plan for next year. They can hire people. They can help grow our economy. I encourage my colleagues to support it.

I ask for the yeas and nays.

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