Mar 13 2008

Senate Democrats Sink Graham Amendment to Extend Bush Tax Cuts

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-South Carolina) amendment to the Budget Resolution to extend the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts was defeated today in the Senate.  The vote was 47-52.


“One of our top priorities should be for Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts,” said Graham.  “Tax relief has proven to be very beneficial to our nation's economic health.  Needless to say, I’m very disappointed a majority of the Senate did not vote for my amendment.


“Do we really want to raise taxes on Americans who are already struggling to make ends meet?” questioned Graham.  “Millions of taxpayers and businesses will see their tax bills literally increase overnight if we don’t make the Bush tax cuts permanent.  We will drive companies offshore and create fewer jobs here at home.”


Graham noted that if the tax cuts are not made permanent 116 million taxpayers will see their tax bill increase an average of $1,800. 


The Graham amendment makes room in the budget to make permanent:

  • The current marginal tax rates of 35, 33, 28, and 25 percent.  If they are allowed to expire on December 31, 2010 the new rates will be 39.6, 36, 31 and 28 percent.
  • Lower rates on capital gains and dividends.
  • College tuition deduction.
  • Includes the Kyl language on estate tax relief – a $5 million exemption with a 35 percent top rate.

“Our refusal to extend the Bush tax cuts means there may be a major tax increase on millions of hard-working Americans,” said Graham.  “At a time when people need more money for their families and businesses at home, we should have made the Bush tax cuts permanent.”