On September 25, by a vote of 202 to 207, the House rejected a symbolic parliamentary gesture in favor of giving the child income tax credit to people who pay no income taxes.
The vote was on a motion to instruct the conferees working in a House-Senate conference committee to report back with essentially the Senate version of the child tax credit bill-H.R. 1308. The Senate passed a version that simply gives so-called tax credits to people who don’t pay taxes in the first place because of their low income-making it a form of welfare. The House version was a compromise bill that also bestows the welfare credits, but only with extra concessions from liberals for more tax cuts for actual taxpayers.
Because liberal senators refused to compromise and increase the size of the 2003 tax cuts, the bill died in conference committee during the summer after a media blitz in its favor-led by a New York Times front-page article-fizzled. Democrats, wanting to revive this issue now, saw an opportunity in this symbolic motion to instruct.
“The motion would have instructed the House conferees to include in the conference report all of the other provisions of the Senate bill and not report back a conference report that includes additional tax benefits, ” explained Rep. Frank Pallone (D.-N.J.). “House Republicans, I believe, are exploiting the child tax credit provision passed, and even more tax cuts that will saddle our children with mountains of debt.”
Unlike all the other families in America, who pay slightly less in taxes when there is a tax cut, these non-tax-paying families to whom Pallone wants to give handouts not only pay nothing in taxes, but also to receive checks in the mail every year, simply for having children.
“I am the father of three children, and I received a $1,200 check, $400 for each of the three children,” Pallone said of his own child tax credit. “It pains me to think, based on my income as a congressman, that many of my constituents who have one, three, or more children were not able to get that $400 per child, because they certainly need it a lot more than me.”
Pallone did not offer to send his check to any of his constituents. In fact, his comments came just 21 days after he had effectively voted himself a pay increase (see HE rollcall, September 15) at the expense of American families that pay taxes.
While others argued against the motion on more or less technical grounds, Rep. Jim Duncan (R.-Tenn.) made the truly conservative argument that lower taxes and lower government spending benefit everyone in society. “It has been proven all over the world that the more money that can be left in the private sector, in whatever country, the better off everyone is, the better off, ” said Duncan. “Especially the poor and low-income people of that particular country. In every country where we have been able to keep the amount of the GDP that the government takes to a relatively small amount, the better off everyone is, especially the poor and lower-income people.”
A “yes ” vote was a vote for the motion to instruct conferees on the child tax credit bill to give “tax credits ” to parents who do not pay taxes. A “no ” vote was a vote against the motion to instruct and was, in effect, a vote against giving such credits.
|FOR THE MOTION: 202||AGAINST THE MOTION: 207|
|REPUBLICANS FOR: 5
DEMOCRATS FOR: 201
INDEPENDENTS FOR: 1
|REPUBLICANS AGAINST: 207
Davis, Jo Ann
NOT VOTING: 25
|REPUBLICANS (16):||DEMOCRATS (9):||INDEPENDENTS (0)|