The House of Representatives passed legislation on January 1 to raise taxes by $620 billion, increase spending by $56 billion, and turn off the sequester for two months. The sequester was the mechanism of last resort tied to the August 2011 debt deal; Republicans had conditioned the $2.1 trillion debt limit increase on spending cuts. Turning off the sequester delays those reductions.
Congressman Huelskamp introduced legislation in January 2012 to make all of the Bush-Obama tax cuts permanent, to fix the AMT permanently, and to repeal all of the ObamaCare taxes. Additionally, Congressman Huelskamp supported the one-year extension of all of the Bush-Obama tax cuts that passed the House in August 2012.
"Today, the trillion-dollar ObamaCare tax increase begins and Washington maxed out its credit card yet again, and in response, Washington punts. This is just another deal by Washington insiders -- with no real solutions. Small businesses and the next generation will ultimately pay for the three-strikes of this bill: higher taxes, more spending, and no entitlement reform."
"There has been no shortage of time to forge a solution to America's fiscal crisis, but a lack of courage and will. The so-called 'fiscal cliff' is a Washington-made problem -- the result of years of last-minute deals designed to avoid real solutions. But, eventually Washington must face the fiscal abyss left in the wake of too much spending, too much borrowing, and too much government."
"Deal after deal, elected officials with principles and convictions are told 'Wait until next time. We'll get to the serious business of the nation then.' But, deal after deal, those elected officials find themselves disappointed with unfulfilled promises. Despite a tremendous mandate from voters in 2010 to cut spending, get America's fiscal house under control, and restore proper procedure, this House of Representatives has achieved few or no real accomplishments. It is a disappointing ending to a disappointing two years."
Congressman Huelskamp advocated for and supported many elements of the package, but believed that the net effect of a tax increase and a spending increase ignored what should have been the ultimate objective of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations: substantial spending reductions. Huelskamp endorsed:
Maintaining the $5 million death tax exemption and indexing it for inflation.
Providing farm policy certainty for this year.
Stopping the congressional pay raise.
Enacting a permanent AMT fix.
Providing permanency in some of the tax rates, rather than temporarily extending them, so as to provide certainty for taxpayers.
Extending many business tax provisions, including bonus depreciation and expensing.
Because the House Rules Committee prohibited any amendments to the Senate version, the legislation now heads to President Obama's desk.