Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today spoke on the Senate floor and called on the Senate Majority Leader to put aside politics and hold an open debate on taxes. Senator Coats delivered his remarks following Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) move to block a vote on President Obama's plan to raise taxes on small business owners and a Republican alternative proposal that would protect job creators and extend current tax rates to all Americans for one year.
In his remarks, Coats said, "We welcome a debate on taxes. We welcome the opportunity to discuss our two visions of how we need to revive this economy. Let's not use a parliamentary trick to avoid a debate on the president's proposal."
Coats added, "The word "fairness' is thrown around here as a condemnation on the Republican Party's ability to achieve bipartisan consent, but if we want to talk about fairness, let's talk about what just happened here. It was imminently fair for the minority leader to offer the Democrats a vote on the president's proposal. All we asked for in return was an opportunity to present, debate and vote on our proposal."
This week, President Obama called for a one-year extension of existing tax rates for people making less than $250,000, which would result in tax hikes on nearly one million American small businesses that file under the individual tax rate instead of the corporate tax rate.
Today, Coats cosponsored alternative legislation offered by Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) that would extend current income tax rates for one year and require the Senate Finance Committee to produce a bill that would enact fundamental, pro-growth tax reform.
"While Congress should prevent massive tax hikes from hitting Americans in January, we must recognize that piecemeal approaches and extensions are not long-term solutions," said Coats. "Comprehensive tax reform is a proven way to encourage economic growth, create more American jobs and make our country stronger in the global marketplace."
Since Coats returned to the Senate, he has urged Congress and the administration to pass comprehensive tax reform. Last year Coats and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act, legislation that would simplify both individual and corporate tax rates, provide tax relief to the middle class and encourage businesses to grow and invest in the United States.