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Public Statements

Andrew P. Carpenter Tax Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LEVIN. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, this bill does address an issue that needs consideration. Lieutenant Carpenter died serving his Nation. He possessed outstanding student loans. The lender waived repayment by his parents, who were obligated on the loans. Present policy would require his parents to pay taxes on the value of that repayment. The Congress must act to ensure that families of brave men and women do not face undue hardship in the face of tragedy.

Unfortunately, this bill has not been the subject of a single hearing or markup in the committee of jurisdiction, Ways and Means. As a result, this bill has no legislative history to which agencies or taxpayers can turn to answer any questions that should arise.

While technical changes were made in this bill from the bill's introduction to its consideration on the House floor today, the text still leaves many questions unanswered, including deficiencies with respect to definition of terms in the bill and as to scope.

The tax treatment of debt forgiveness is a broad and important issue. And while this bill will cover the tax treatment of one class of debt for one class of taxpayers, I think many in this body might believe that other classes of taxpayers should be able to receive such tax treatment. So, therefore, in the absence of regular order on this bill but recognizing the need to address the impact of our tax laws on those who have served our Nation and their families, I believe we should pass this legislation over to the Senate, with the expectation that it will address outstanding technical and coverage issues.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time and ask unanimous consent that the balance of my time on this bill now be handled by the gentleman from Washington (Mr. McDermott), a member of our committee.


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