With perhaps two days to go before Congress adjourns and no vote on extending the tax cuts in sight, one Republican House member has an intriguing solution: a vote to adjourn coupled with corollary that would force a vote on stopping tax increases when Congress reconvenes for a lame duck session after the November election.
“It hasn’t received a lot of publicity, but there’s certainly a lot of chatter about it in our cloakroom,” Rep. Fred Upton (R.-Mich.) told HUMAN EVENTS on Tuesday.
Rep. Upton, a leading GOP moderate, said he felt confident attaching a forced vote to extend the Bush tax cuts that are set to expire to the motion to adjourn would pass because “all of us on the Republican side would vote for it, and more than 30 Democrats have called for a vote on extending tax cuts before they are set to expire January 1.”
“There are enough Democrats with us,” said Upton, who spoke to HE while waiting for a train to Pennsylvania, where he is scheduled to campaign for Rep. Jim Gerlach (R.-Pa.).
Upton, who has served 24 years in Congress, also said that the issue of extending tax cuts is particularly powerful in his state of Michigan, which now has 14% unemployment. Recalling meetings he has had with state business leaders this week, Upton said that “they want to know what the certainty is their taxes will remain the same before they do the investing that will revive the economy. They are cautionary, and not willing to bet the ranch if taxes go up.”
Letting the tax cuts expire, added Upton, “will delay any recovery. That’s what the business leaders I know are saying. They tell me there is no way they can risk their business not knowing what the rules are going to be.”
Upton said that business leaders from his state are also concerned about the federal forms that the health care bill passed by Congress this year will require for business-to-business transactions over $600.
“It’s on Page 737 of the healthcare bill,” he said, “If someone, say, buys an ad in HUMAN EVENTS that costs more than $600, both parties have to file forms.” He predicted that if the measure stands “it will be the first step toward a value added tax.”