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Tsongas Votes Against $25 Billion Tax Increase On Middle Class

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas voted against a bill that would have raised taxes by $24.9 billion on middle- and low-income families. The bill, H.R. 4, sought to repeal a burdensome reporting requirement for small businesses known as the 1099 requirement, but would pay for this repeal by increasing the taxes owed by many middle class families. Tsongas, who last year was among the first Democrats to call for repeal of the1099 reporting requirement, voted against H.R. 4 due the steep tax increase it would impose on American families. Tsongas released the following statement.

"The 1099 reporting requirement was included in health care reform as a way to crack down on tax evasion that costs taxpayers $19 billion in lost revenue. However, after hearing from constituents about the significant administrative burdens that the 1099 requirement would pose on small businesses, I was one of the first members of my party to push for its repeal. Recognizing that there are better ways to pursue unlawful tax evasion than forcing small business to carry the burden, I was an original cosponsor of legislation to repeal the requirement and voted for it on the House floor last year.

"Earlier this year, by a vote of 81-17, the Senate passed a reasonable 1099 repeal. Because repealing this requirement would re-open a $19 billion hole, the Senate repeal cut an equivalent amount of federal spending to fill that budgetary gap. Instead of bringing this sensible bipartisan legislation to the floor for a vote, the Republican majority instead offset the costs with a provision that would significantly increase taxes on middle- and low-income Americans. Such a tax increase is wholly unacceptable to me.

"The bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation determined that the new provision imposes $24.9 billion in new taxes above current law. Specifically, the provision requires middle- and lower-income families who receive help paying for health insurance to pay higher taxes if there are even minor changes in their income. For instance, the House Ways and Means Committee notes that a family of 4 earning $88,000 a year that receives a $250 year-end bonus could suddenly find themselves owing an extra $4,640 in taxes simply because that bonus is enough to push them into a different income category.

"During debate of the repeal bill this week, the Republican majority blocked two amendments that I would have supported to strip this tax increase from the bill. Rather than raise taxes on middle class Americans, I continue to push for a clean 1099 repeal based on the Senate-passed language.

"Today's vote was particularly disappointing because it is unlikely to receive support in the Senate. Instead of bringing the Senate language up for a vote and moving it forward, today's vote delayed repeal efforts. That is why I am working with my colleagues to push for a bill that can get to the President's desk as quickly as possible."

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