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  • American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

    by Representative Sander M. Levin

    Posted on 2013-01-01

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    LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. This is a bipartisan bill, and I will try to keep it within that spirit to the extent possible.

    As we are here today on January 1, hours away from Americans returning to work, markets reopening around the world, and all eyes focusing on whether this institution can govern, this legislation allows us to get done what we need to get done.

    {time} 2150 This bill is vital for our Nation's economic well-being and, I want to emphasize, for its standing as the world's most important economy. It is vital for 114 million middle class families whose tax cuts are made permanent. It's vital for 2 million unemployed American workers who need continuation of their insurance while they continue to look for work.

    It is vital for 30 million middle-income Americans who otherwise would have been hit by the alternative minimum tax. And it's vital for 25, and I emphasize this, 25 million working families and students who benefit from the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which helps families pay for college.

    And it's vital for physicians and millions of their patients who would have been hurt by drastic cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates. It's also vital for businesses, through an extension of important tax provisions such as the R&D credit, and also renewable energy incentives that must continue in this great country of ours, and bonus depreciation to encourage business investments.

    But I want to emphasize this, somewhat in contrast to what our chairman has said: this legislation breaks the iron barrier that for far too long has prevented additional tax revenues from the very wealthiest. It raises $620 billion in revenue by achieving the President's goal of asking the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans to pay more, while protecting 98 percent of families. That's right, that's what it does. And 97 percent--I want to emphasize this, contrary to propaganda coming from the other side, 97 percent of small businesses from any tax increase.

    And, lastly--and this needs to be emphasized especially in view, Mr. Chairman, of your comments--this package is vital for future deficit reduction efforts, setting the stage for a balanced approach from here on out by delaying sequestration through 1-1 revenue to spending cuts.

    Yesterday, President Obama again said he is committed to deficit reduction, but he emphasized several times, and I quote: We've got to do this in a balanced, responsible way with additional revenues as well as spending cuts, so I urge its passage.

    This bill sets the important precedent I mentioned in terms of additional revenues as well as spending cuts. The time is urgent. The time is now. We should support this legislation.

    I reserve the balance of my time.

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