Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) offered the following statement after the GOP-led House voted to pass H.R. 8, a bill to extend all the Bush tax cuts for the rich and end vital middle and working class tax credits like the Child Tax Credit:
"I am deeply dismayed that in the face of a rising tide of poverty and an economy with high unemployment, the Tea Party lead Republicans continue their effort to slash programs which protect the health and well-being of millions of low income and working poor families. The bill that passed today does not create jobs.
"I voted against H.R. 8 because it would saddle our nation with nearly $1 trillion in more deficits. H.R. 8 would give away nearly $1 trillion to the wealthiest Americans while it slams low-income and working poor families by leaving them out in the cold.
"The Republican majority is so busy trying to write a big check -- $160,000 on average -- to every millionaire in America, that it forgot to protect 13 million low wage families and nearly 26 million children from a massive tax increase.
"The failure to extend vital expansions of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) would raise taxes for millions of struggling families. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, these programs kept an estimated 1.6 million people out of poverty last year.
"Failing these families would push hard working men and women and their children back into poverty, while giving away tax breaks to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. The wealthiest Americans must be asked to pay their fair share and to invest in the future success of all Americans, not just the wealthy few.
"Again, Republicans have exempted tax cuts for the super rich from all budget constraints and deficit reduction goals. Somehow, the deficit is of paramount concern when Republicans cut funds for education programs for the poor, housing programs for the poor, and all of the safety net programs that keep American families from facing the depths of poverty.
"But when it comes to giving away nearly $1 trillion to the super rich? They get a free pass and the deficit just somehow does not matter anymore. We need a balanced approach that asks the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share so that we can invest in a growing middle class and lift up the millions of Americans struggling to join it.
"We must come together to close tax loopholes that give away billions to big oil and that encourages big corporations to off shore American jobs. We need to make smart cuts to our bloated Pentagon budget that brings our troops home, reduces waste fraud and abuse and brings down our deficit to make room to invest in the future success of every American family. We need to find a pathway forward that reignites the American Dream for all the American people, not just the wealthiest 1 percent."