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Earl B.
Democrat OR 3

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  • Supporting America’s Charities Act

    by Representative Earl Blumenauer

    Posted on 2014-12-10

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    BLUMENAUER of oregon in the house of representatives Wednesday, December 10, 2014 Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, it is with some degree of frustration that I voted no on H.R. 5806. I strongly support some of the individual provisions; indeed, I am the leading Democratic cosponsor of the provisions relating to charitable contributions from individual retirement accounts.

    I have been a leading supporter of land trusts, working closely with them to fix challenges raised by application of the estate tax for instance, and broadly supporting their work across the country to protect and preserve our nation's heritage and open spaces. I have worked hard to improve resources for Oregon's food banks and to end hunger both at home and abroad.

    Today, we are abandoning any semblance that this Congress is going to work on major accomplishments before we adjourn.

    With this and similar tax extender votes, Congress appears to have given up on deficit reduction, despite my colleagues otherwise voracious appetite for it--an appetite that led to House Republicans attempting to cut nutrition assistance to poor Americans by $39 billion last year. Section five of this bill, in fact, specifically strikes the Republican's own PAY-GO rules. Budget-busting proposals are roaring through here with no semblance of honoring the Republicans' own budget rules or their budget resolution.

    With this and similar tax extender votes, Congress appears also to have given up on tax reform because we are not going to be [[Page E1817]] able to have meaningful tax reform if we are just willy-nilly going to rush all these provisions through.

    My colleague, Chairman Camp, worked for years to produce a deficit- neutral tax reform, which had much to commend it, and I commend him for his hard work. All of these provisions of tax extenders were addressed in his tax reform, but they were dealt with differently. Not all were extended permanently. Some were modified and some were repealed, as part of a deliberative process to evaluate their impact and to not break the bank. This vote--like similar unpaid for permanent tax extender votes--abandons that effort.

    This bill is not going to be enacted into law as the President's veto threat makes clear, and Congress will pick up where it left off--and frankly, where Mr. Camp left off--as we work with our colleagues in the other body and our constituents to move forward on the things that we are all committed to in a way that is fiscally responsible, is bipartisan and thoughtful, to get the outcomes we all share.


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