Congressman Bob Goodlatte issued this statement following his vote to halt the impending tax increases on American families and small businesses. This legislation, which had previously passed the U.S. Senate, passed the House of Representatives in a bipartisan vote and will now head to the President to be signed into law.
"Last night the House of Representatives worked in a bipartisan way to pass legislation which will halt tax increases on American families and small businesses who are already struggling to make ends meet. The $3.9 trillion tax hike, which was scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2011, would have meant that every American income taxpayer would face higher rates.
The legislation that passed the House last night by an overwhelming vote preserves the current tax rates for families and small business owners. Without this legislation, an average middle-income family would have received a $1,540 tax increase, 88 million Americans in the lowest income bracket would have received a minimum tax increase of $503 and the tax rates on capital gains would have risen from 15 percent to 20 percent. Additionally, the Alternative Minimum Tax would have ensnared 15 million taxpayers, the tax increases on dividends and capital gains would have hit half of all income tax paying senior citizens by an average of $1,700 and the death tax would have increased to a rate of 55 percent.
The American people continue to face one of the most challenging times in our nation's history. The latest unemployment numbers mark the 16th consecutive month that our nation's unemployment rate has been at or above 9.5 percent -- the longest period since the Great Depression. The last thing our economy needs is crushing tax increases. Instead Congress must focus on policies that allow individuals and businesses to keep more of their hard-earned tax dollars, which would encourage investment and provide financial relief for America's small businesses. Congress must send a clear message to our nation's job creators that they can hire new workers with the confidence that a higher tax bill is not on the way and that is exactly what happened last night when the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to prevent an enormous tax hike on all Americans."
It is important to note that this legislation is separate from the pork-laden omnibus spending bill that the U.S. Senate was proposing. Congressman Goodlatte remains firmly opposed to the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill the U.S. Senate was considering. This legislation, which includes over 6,700 earmarks totaling $8.3 billion, represents a significant increase in federal spending. It appears that the omnibus spending bill has been defeated since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced last night that the Senate will no longer seek to pass the omnibus bill. The defeat of this monstrosity is the first step in cutting federal spending and reducing the size of government but by no means is our work done. It is time Congress takes control of spending instead of letting it control the Congress and Congressman Goodlatte is committed to bringing fiscal responsibility back to Washington.