Mar 21 2007

Senate Democrats Defeat Kyl-Graham Amendment to Extend Some Bush Tax Relief Provisions

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today introduced an amendment along with Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) to the Democratic Budget Resolution extending tax relief for the American taxpayer. The amendment was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 51-47. The Kyl-Graham amendment: * Established the Death Tax exemption at $5 million and ensures 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. This change would help more than 200,000 taxpayers in South Carolina. * Extended educational tax deductions including deductions for tuition and student loan interest. * Permanently extended the $250 teacher classroom expense deduction. "I'm disappointed the Senate did not accept our amendment," said Graham. "One of my top priorities this year was for Congress to begin extending the Bush tax cuts. They have proven to be very beneficial to our nation's economic health." The Democratic Budget Resolution under debate in the Senate does not extend the Bush tax cuts while the Kyl-Graham amendment would have saved taxpayers $72.3 billion over the next five years. "There are going to be a lot of mysterious deaths on New Years Eve 2010 in order to enjoy the benefits of no Death Tax," quipped Graham. "People in South Carolina understand the Death Tax going from zero to a fifty-five percent overnight is a nasty blow. "There are no good reasons why small business owners and family farmers should have to buy their businesses back from the government," said Graham. "Unfortunately, if we allow the Death Tax to go back into effect at pre-2001 tax relief levels, it will devastate family farmers and small business owners once again." Under current law, the 2001 Bush tax cuts are set to expire on December 31, 2010. When they expire the marriage penalty, Death Tax, lower tax rates, lower tax rates on capital gains, and an assortment of other tax breaks will revert to the pre-2001 tax structure resulting in a $916 billion tax increase. "I hope Congress will extend the Bush tax cuts," said Graham. "The Bush tax cuts have been a central piece of the puzzle in creating a robust national economy," concluded Graham. "Allowing the tax cuts to expire will have a devastating impact on economic growth." #####