U.S. Representative Glenn "GT' Thompson, R-Howard, today voted to support H.R. 8, the "Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012." The measure passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 257-167.
"Without passage of this agreement, each and every one of my constituents would have received a tax increase," said Rep. Thompson. "While far from perfect, the proposal protects 99% of taxpayers from scheduled rate increases and provides the certainty necessary for families to plan and businesses to grow by making this tax relief permanent."
On August 1, 2012, Thompson voted in favor of the initial version of H.R. 8, a bill to extend current tax provisions for all income levels and set a framework for comprehensive tax reform, which was denied consideration by the Senate.
H.R. 8 permanently extends the 2001 and 2003 income tax rates for taxable income up to $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples. Among other provisions, the measure also permanently extends the estate tax exemption amount at current levels but allows the maximum rate to increase, and prevents millions of Americans from having to pay higher taxes by indexing the Alternative Minimum Tax for inflation.
"Over the last two years, the House has taken action to fully avert the fiscal cliff and also put forward serious proposals to reduce our national debt, only to see these measures languish in the Senate," Rep. Thompson stated. "While H.R. 8 avoids the fiscal cliff, the time has come for the Senate and the President to join the House in working to address our growing debt crisis."
On May 10, 2012, Thompson supported House passage of H.R. 5652, a bill to fully replace sequestration with targeted cuts achieving the same level of deficit reduction, which was also denied consideration by the Senate. H.R. 8 postpones for two months automatic sequestration cuts, replacing them with lower discretionary spending caps.
"H.R. 8 also extends the current farm bill law through the remainder of 2013 protecting both farmers and consumers financially," Thompson added. "Additionally, it averts cuts in Medicare Part B payments to doctors and other outpatient healthcare providers through the same period."
Extension of the current farm bill through Fiscal Year 2013 prevents federal policy from reverting back to the underlying permanent 1949 farm law.
The U.S. Senate passed H.R. 8 early this morning by a vote of 89-9. The bill will now be sent to the President for his signature.