Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted against the Democratic budget resolution. The measure which lays out a spending plan for the next five years passed 52-47.
"The Democrat's budget throws fiscal discipline out the window and shows the country that Democrats live up to their tax and spend stereotype," said Graham. "It increases taxes on the American taxpayer by $700 billion and contains billions in new spending. It also completely ignores the impending crises in Social Security and Medicare."
Senate Democrats twice defeated efforts by Graham to provide tax relief to the American people.
- Graham introduced an amendment today that would make permanent the current individual income tax rate structure. Current marginal tax rates are 35, 33, 28 and 25 percent; however, this rate structure will expire December 31, 2010. If allowed to expire, rates will increase to 39.6, 36, 31, and 28 percent. A recent study commissioned by the Small Business Administration found that a one percent increase in marginal tax rates cuts the life span of a small business by 32.5 percent for single filers and 44.8 percent for married filers. The amendment was defeated 52-46.
- Earlier this week, Graham introduced a measure that would have established the Death Tax exemption at $5 million and ensure the rate will be no more than thirty-five percent, extended the lower rates contained in 2001 Bush tax cuts on dividends and capital gains -- a change that would help more than 200,000 taxpayers in South Carolina -- and extended educational tax deductions including deductions for tuition and student loan interest and the $250 teacher classroom expense deduction. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 51-47.
"One of my top priorities this year is for Congress to make the Bush tax cuts permanent," said Graham. "Tax relief has proven to be very beneficial to our nation's economic health. I'm disappointed Senate Democrats have chosen to protect special interests rather than protect the taxpayer and our economy.
"We must keep taxes low to keep jobs at home," said Graham. "Although today was a missed opportunity, I hope Congress will soon extend the Bush tax cuts. To do otherwise would be devastating to our economy."
Graham did succeed in passing a provision to help protect American manufacturing jobs from unfair trade practices. The Senate unanimously approved an amendment to provide budget authority for an additional $40 million to enforce trade agreements.
The International Trade Commission, International Trade Administration, Customs and Border Protection, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative would each receive an additional $10 million.