Earlier this week, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva voted for a measure to extend a tax cut to 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses. The Republican House majority on Wednesday rejected that measure and passed its alternative (H.R. 8), which -- according to an IRS analysis of a Senate Republican bill that makes the same tax changes -- will raise taxes on about 25 million families by reducing the Earned Income Tax Credit, the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. The Democratic effort was offered, for procedural reasons, as an amendment to H.R. 8 and mirrored the language of a bill known as H.R. 15, which Rep. Grijalva cosponsors.
The House Republican bill will mean higher taxes for students, parents raising children on modest incomes, and some military families. The Democratic version -- which already passed the Senate July 25 -- enjoys broad support, including that of more than 60 Christian leaders and prominent theologians who recently released a joint statement "urg[ing] Members of Congress to put families and workers before ideological agendas that favor the powerful."
"The Republican plan is an insult to the tens of millions of working families whose wages have stagnated and who did nothing to cause the economic downturn," Grijalva said. "Giving billions of dollars in tax cuts to the richest two percent of the country at everyone else's expense goes beyond legitimate political disagreement -- it's a radical redistribution of wealth. The richest two percent should pay their fair share like everyone else. Instead, their conservative activist friends in Washington passed a bill to raise taxes on 25 million Americans with modest incomes and then decided to go home."
Yesterday Grijalva voted against a motion to adjourn the House so that it could stay in session to work on job creation. "Our business here isn't done, especially since we just passed a plan that favors the extremely wealthy and puts more of the burden on working people," Grijalva said. "The richest one percent of Americans now own approximately 40 percent of our country's wealth and take home about 24 percent of the nation's income. That's not a recipe for success no matter what you believe or how you vote, and we owe it to the country to stay on the job and make our economy work for everyone again."