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  • Fighting Hunger Incentive Act of 2015

    by Representative Sander M. Levin

    Posted on 2015-02-12

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    LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I shall consume.

    Mr. Speaker, the issues here are not the merits. That isn't the issue. The issue is whether we proceed this way. Proceeding this way is the opposite of bipartisanship--its very opposite. The chairman has said he wants to find common ground on common aspects.

    What this does is essentially pull terrain out from under common ground. It is the opposite of a search for common ground. The President has said he will veto. We have the messages right here once again. It is the opposite of bipartisanship.

    It is also, if I might say, the opposite of certainty for taxpayers. We went through this last year. These bills will not become law, period. If they were to pass the House and the Senate, they would be vetoed. That happened last year. It did not become law. It will not become law this year.

    These provisions will be continued if we don't pass tax reform. Mr. Chairman, you control the schedule. If you don't want to wait until December, do it earlier if tax reform doesn't become a reality.

    That is another problem with this bill and these bills. They are the opposite of tax reform. You don't do tax reform in a piecemeal fashion. Dave Camp, to his credit, understood that, so he came up with a comprehensive package.

    In the Senate, Republicans understand this. Senator Blunt said last week: As long as the Finance Committee feels there is an opportunity for overall tax reform, I think you are going to not see a quick response to individual bills coming over.

    What could be clearer? What could be clearer? This is also the opposite of fiscal responsibility.

    You have here three opposites--really four, and four opposites make a big minus.

    Fourteen billion is the cost of this bill and 79 billion, the next bill--that is 93. We marked up just a few hours ago in Ways and Means two more bills, one 42 billion and another one 177 billion--that is 219. And you add up those, over $310 billion in terms of adding to the deficit.

    There has been some talk about helping the middle class. Action is the opposite of platitudes. Where is the action on the child tax credit? Where is the action on the EITC also affecting working and middle class families? Where is the action on the work opportunity tax credit? Where is the action on the minimum wage? The answer is we are now several months into this session.

    A reporter said to me, What is bill number one? I said, I have no idea.

    How about other bills that really address the needs of the middle class of this country? As expressed in Ways and Means, so many of us are very opposed to what is really a counterproductive path here. The merits, again, are not the basic issue.

    The basic issue, do we want to fly in the face of bipartisanship, fly in the face of certainty for taxpayers, fly in the face of tax reform, and fly in the face of fiscal responsibility? We should not be doing that. We should not be doing that.

    Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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