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The GOP was able to defeat an amendment by the Democrats that would have weakened the Charitable Donations Bill and increased social spending.

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Roll Call: House Defeats Democrat Amendment on Charitable Donations Bill

The GOP was able to defeat an amendment by the Democrats that would have weakened the Charitable Donations Bill and increased social spending.

On September 17, by a vote of 203 to 220, the House defeated a Democratic substitute amendment to a tax bill that lets taxpayers deduct charitable contributions even if they do not itemize deductions on their income tax returns.

This Democratic substitute amendment would have increased social spending and retroactively cracked down on businesses and individuals who have used legitimate or what were eventually found to be illegal tax shelters in the past.

The goal of the underlying bill, The Charitable Giving Act (H.R. 7), supported by President Bush, is to change the tax code to make it easier for businesses and individuals to deduct charitable contributions when paying their taxes.

“The first provision [of the substitute], adds an additional $1.1 billion to the next fiscal year for the social services block grant,” said Cardin. He added that the second provision would prevent anyone who is taking advantage of “tax shelters” from taking the charitable deductions. “I have not heard one complaint against the fact that tax shelters should be outlawed and there should be penalties for tax shelters,” he said. “This bill deals with it in a responsible way.”

Republicans argued against the amendment, stating that there are many kinds of “tax shelters” and the amendment would unnecessarily complicate tax laws and make it even harder for taxpayers and courts to interpret what sort of tax shelters are legitimate. Moreover, Rep. Nancy Johnson (R.-Conn.) argued, it could reduce revenues by causing tax shelters to become more secretive.

“Our own Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Pam Olson, has stated that codifying the ‘economic substance’ doctrine could be counterproductive and would drive tax shelters further underground.” She was referring to a specific court interpretation of what constitutes an illegal tax shelter.

Rep. Bill Thomas (R.-Calif.) pointed out that the Cardin amendment would take effect retroactively, so that tax shelters that have been legal for years would suddenly be retroactively taxed.

Others argued that the substitute was needlessly complicated, since the bill was supposed to focus exclusively on charitable giving.

“The effort to work with the Treasury Department and the administration on tax shelters is in a bill which should be before the committee at any time,” said Rep. Roy Blunt (R.-Mo.). “This is a bill about charitable giving. It is a tax bill. We specifically eliminated the things about program delivery from a similar bill that the House passed last year because we wanted to focus on charitable giving. We did not want to focus on other programs.”

Although McDermott, who eagerly votes to expand government entitlements at every opportunity, suddenly found religion on deficit matters, other Democrats were more supportive of Cardin’s amendment.

Immediately after Cardin’s substitute amendment failed, the underlying bill, H.R. 7, passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 408 to 13.

A “yes” vote was a vote in favor of the Democratic substitute for the Charitable Giving Act of 2003. A “no” vote was a vote against the amendment, which would have increased social spending and penalized those who have used legal tax shelters.

FOR THE AMENDMENT: 203 AGAINST THE AMENDMENT: 220
REPUBLICANS FOR: 3
Castle
Leach
Tancredo

DEMOCRATS FOR: 199
Abercrombie
Ackerman
Alexander
Allen
Andrews
Baca
Baird
Baldwin
Ballance
Becerra
Bell
Berkley
Berman
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Blumenauer
Boswell
Boucher
Boyd
Brady (PA)
Brown, Corrine
Brown (OH)
Capps
Capuano
Cardin
Cardoza
Carson (IN)
Carson (OK)
Case
Clay
Clyburn
Conyers
Cooper
Costello
Cramer
Crowley
Cummings
Davis (AL)
Davis (CA)
Davis (FL)
Davis (IL)
Davis (TN)
DeFazio
DeGette
Delahunt
DeLauro
Deutsch
Dicks
Dingell
Doggett
Dooley (CA)
Doyle
Edwards
Emanuel
Engel
Eshoo
Etheridge
Evans
Farr
Fattah
Filner
Ford
Frank (MA)
Frost
Gonzalez
Gordon
Green (TX)
Grijalva
Gutierrez
Hall
Harman
Hastings (FL)
Hill
Hinchey
Hinojosa
Hoeffel
Holden
Holt
Honda
Hooley (OR)
Hoyer
Inslee
Israel
Jackson (IL)
Jackson-Lee (TX)
Jefferson
John
Johnson, E. B.
Jones (OH)
Kanjorski
Kaptur
Kennedy (RI)
Kildee
Kilpatrick
Kind
Kleczka
Kucinich
Lampson
Langevin
Lantos
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lee
Levin
Lewis (GA)
Lipinski
Lofgren
Lowey
Lucas (KY)
Lynch
Majette
Maloney
Markey
Marshall
Matheson
Matsui
McCarthy (MO)
McCarthy (NY)
McCollum
McDermott
McGovern
McNulty
Meehan
Meek (FL)
Meeks (NY)
Menendez
Michaud
Millender-McDonald
Miller, George
Miller (NC)
Mollohan
Moore
Moran (VA)
Murtha
Nadler
Napolitano
Neal (MA)
Oberstar
Obey
Olver
Ortiz
Owens
Pallone
Pascrell
Pastor
Payne
Pelosi
Pomeroy
Price (NC)
Rahall
Rangel
Reyes
Rodriguez
Ross
Rothman
Roybal-Allard
Ruppersberger
Ryan (OH)
Sabo
Sanchez, Linda
Sanchez, Loretta
Sandlin
Schakowsky
Schiff
Scott (GA)
Scott (VA)
Serrano
Sherman
Skelton
Slaughter
Smith (WA)
Snyder
Solis
Spratt
Stark
Stenholm
Strickland
Stupak
Tanner
Tauscher
Taylor (MS)
Thompson (MS)
Tierney
Towns
Turner (TX)
Udall (CO)
Udall (NM)
Van Hollen
Velazquez
Visclosky
Waters
Watson
Watt
Waxman
Weiner
Wexler
Woolsey
Wu
Wynn

INDEPENDENTS FOR: 1
Sanders

REPUBLICANS AGAINST: 219
Aderholt
Akin
Bachus
Baker
Ballenger
Barrett (SC)
Bartlett (MD)
Barton (TX)
Bass
Beauprez
Bereuter
Biggert
Bilirakis
Bishop (UT)
Blackburn
Blunt
Boehlert
Boehner
Bonilla
Bonner
Bono
Boozman
Bradley (NH)
Brady (TX)
Brown (SC)
Brown-Waite, V.
Burgess
Burns
Burr
Burton (IN)
Buyer
Calvert
Camp
Cannon
Cantor
Capito
Carter
Chabot
Chocola
Coble
Cole
Collins
Cox
Crane
Crenshaw
Culberson
Cunningham
Davis, Jo Ann
Davis, Tom
Deal (GA)
DeLay
DeMint
Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Doolittle
Dreier
Duncan
Dunn
Ehlers
Emerson
English
Everett
Feeney
Ferguson
Flake
Fletcher
Foley
Fossella
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gallegly
Garrett (NJ)
Gerlach
Gibbons
Gilchrest
Gillmor
Gingrey
Goode
Goodlatte
Goss
Granger
Graves
Green (WI)
Greenwood
Gutknecht
Harris
Hart
Hastings (WA)
Hayes
Hayworth
Hefley
Hensarling
Herger
Hobson
Hoekstra
Hostettler
Houghton
Hulshof
Hunter
Hyde
Isakson
Issa
Istook
Janklow
Jenkins
Johnson, Sam
Johnson (CT)
Johnson (IL)
Jones (NC)
Keller
Kelly
Kennedy (MN)
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kingston
Kirk
Kline
Knollenberg
Kolbe
LaHood
Latham
LaTourette
Lewis (CA)
Lewis (KY)
Linder
LoBiondo
Lucas (OK)
Manzullo
McCotter
McCrery
McHugh
McInnis
McKeon
Mica
Miller, Gary
Miller (MI)
Moran (KS)
Murphy
Musgrave
Myrick
Nethercutt
Neugebauer
Ney
Northup
Norwood
Nunes
Nussle
Osborne
Ose
Otter
Oxley
Paul
Pearce
Pence
Peterson (PA)
Petri
Pickering
Pitts
Pombo
Porter
Portman
Pryce (OH)
Putnam
Quinn
Radanovich
Ramstad
Regula
Rehberg
Renzi
Reynolds
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Ros-Lehtinen
Royce
Ryan (WI)
Ryun (KS)
Saxton
Schrock
Sensenbrenner
Sessions
Shadegg
Shaw
Shays
Sherwood
Shimkus
Shuster
Simmons
Simpson
Smith (MI)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Souder
Sullivan
Sweeney
Tauzin
Taylor (NC)
Terry
Thomas
Thornberry
Tiahrt
Tiberi
Toomey
Turner (OH)
Upton
Vitter
Walden (OR)
Walsh
Wamp
Weldon (FL)
Weldon (PA)
Weller
Whitfield
Wicker
Wilson (NM)
Wilson (SC)
Wolf
Young (AK)
Young (FL)

DEMOCRATS AGAINST: 1
Peterson (MN)

NOT VOTING: 11

REPUBLICANS (6): DEMOCRATS (5): INDEPENDENTS (0)
Cubin
Forbes
Miller (FL)
Platts
Stearns
Rohrabacher
Berry
Gephardt
McIntyre
Rush
Thompson (CA)
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