Mr. OWENS. Mr. Speaker, Democrats are committed to extending tax cuts for the middle class working families. Unfortunately, our friends on the other side of the aisle have been unwilling to compromise so far on tax cuts for the wealthy, which would add $700 billion to the national debt over the next 10 years.
I was proud to join several of my colleagues, led by Mr. Pascrell and Mr. Capuano, in sending a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Leader Boehner advocating for a compromise on this issue. Our idea involves a 1-year extension of the higher tax rates for individuals and joint filers making under $500,000 annually, a 5-year extension of the middle class tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000 and joint filers making less than $250,000 annually, and a 5-year extension of the current tax rates on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends.
I hope we come together to address this issue quickly when Congress returns. And I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to focus on working out a compromise.