Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of extending tax cuts for middle class families and small businesses.
I support a plan that allows generous tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent to expire, while also ensuring taxes do not go up on those that can least afford it. This is the plan that passed the Senate last week. And this is the plan that President Obama said he is ready and eager to sign should it pass the House.
Unfortunately, however, this is not the plan being offered by the Majority on the floor here today. The Majority's proposal, H.R. 8, preserves tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent at the expense of middle class families and small businesses.
It gives, on average, an extra $160,000 tax cut to millionaires while raising taxes on 25 million middle class families by an average of $1,000 by restricting or eliminating crucial tax credits that middle class families depend on to pay their bills and send their kids to college, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and American Opportunity Tax Credit.
This is not the balanced, equitable solution my constituents on the Central Coast and the American people are asking for, which is why I strongly oppose H.R. 8 and will vote against it.
I will instead be voting for the substitute amendment, which is identical to the legislation the Senate passed last week.
It extends for one year the current tax rates on income, capital gains and dividends for taxable income up to $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. Under this plan, all taxpayers will benefit from the tax breaks on income up to these thresholds, and 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses will see no tax increase at all.
This proposal also fixes the Alternative Minimum Tax for 2012 and extends several other important tax provisions that middle class families and small businesses depend on, including marriage penalty relief, expanded child and earned income tax credits, education tax incentives, and small business expensing.
This is a reasonable, responsible plan that should have bipartisan support.
Democrats and Republicans agree on the need to extend the tax cuts for middle class families and small businesses, and this plan does exactly that. The substitute reflects this consensus and gives middle class families certainty that their taxes will not go up next year.
We should move forward with what we already agree on instead of holding hostage those who can least afford it for the benefit of the wealthiest among us.
We simply cannot afford to continue the tax cuts for the richest two percent and leave middle class families with the bill. We have a serious deficit problem that requires a balanced solution to ensure everyone bears a fair share of the burden. Letting tax rates on the richest in our society simply return to where they were in the 1990s, when our economy was booming, is one common sense step in that process.
I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this balanced approach and voting yes on the substitute.